News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
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Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
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New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
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Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Last Updated: Tue, April 16, 2019
At what point is the American public going to stand up and take notice of the truck driver shortage?
According to spokespeople for the retail industry, that time is right about now.
Faced with higher shipping rates because truck companies are passing on increased costs to their freight customers many companies prominent in the retail and fast-food industry are passing those higher fees right on to consumers.
According to recent news from Material Handling & Logistics, these companies, many of which are household names, like Proctor & Gamble, Hasbro, and McDonald's are raising prices, focusing on productivity improvements, seeking alternative shipping or looking into opening new distribution centers to try to close the distance gap in the distribution chain.
Procter & Gamble, maker of many ubiquitous household items like Tide detergent, Bounty paper towels, Crest toothpaste and Pampers diapers, is feeling the pinch from a 25-percent increase in shipping costs, and raised prices last year on some products. They say it is too early to announce prices for 2019.
TJX's HomeGoods furniture is opening more distribution centers in the United States, while Hasbro is opening a new hub in Joliet, Illinois, due to an increase in shipping costs in 2018.
MacDonald's franchisees are at the mercy of company headquarters for setting prices on their menu items, but the company is facing increased shipping rates by its distributor, Martin-Brower, that ships to more than 12,000 restaurants in the United States. Fans of MacDonald's fast food can expect to see an increase in prices.
Even online ecommerce giant Amazon says freight costs consistently outpace online sales growth. Prime customers have already felt the pinch by experiencing a 20-percent Prime membership fee to $120 last year, the first increase since 2014.
Rail might be an alternative shipping solution for some in the industry, but it won't be for everybody. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Lee Klaskow said rising rates are even spreading to rail. And rail is not as flexible as shipping by truck directly from point to point.
This problem of increasing prices to consumers is in large part the flip side of what the trucking industry considers a solution for the ongoing shortage of drivers – to increase driver pay and to offer better (and more costly) working conditions.
The lack of drivers prevents trucking companies from adding capacity to their fleets in order to meet the increase demand for shipping. The end result is that because of increased wages, and not enough equipment to move freight, carriers are raising shipping prices. It's the law of supply and demand.
Klaskow sees this as a no-win situation, however. He told MH&L that pay bumps haven't alleviated the driver shortage, that autonomous trucks are still in the future and even lowering the interstate driving age to 18 won't help much.
According to a recent Consumer Affairs article the government's Producer Price Index reports that transportation and warehousing costs have gone up 6.8 percent in the past 12 months. Not all that increase can be attributed to trucking costs, but shipping rates are a significant factor.
The article stated further that driver pay and perks will continue to increase for the foreseeable future, according to American Trucking Association Chief Economist Bob Costello.
On the positive side, Brittany Weissman, an Edward Jones analyst, told Bloomberg that companies are in a better position to deal with freight cost issues now that when the problem first surfaced.
“Last year, the higher transportation costs caught a number of companies off guard versus this year, they were expected,” she said. “Plus, many companies have the benefit of price increases to help offset input cost like higher transportation cost.”
Sources: MH&L, Consumer Affairs, Zero Hedge. Bloomberg, Supply Chain Digest
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