Low Freight Volume

Topic 25369 | Page 1

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Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

I work for a major ltl carrier and it seems like freight levels have dropped drastically. I'm wondering if other drivers are seeing this with their jobs or should I be concerned its a company problem?

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I was told the same thing by another Schneider driver. But I’ve just been scrambling to fulfill my assignments. No evidence of any slow down with me.

Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Not sure if this is out of line, but I'm betting a lot of companies are struggling to find loads paying enough. I had a chat with dispatch last week, and he was frustrated by the rates loads are paying. But then, they are still building a solid customer base, so many are brokered loads, which usually go to the lowest bidder.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
wondering if other drivers are seeing this with their jobs or should I be concerned its a company problem.

Michael, welcome to our forum!

One of the biggest hindrances to this career is the way truck drivers look at every little problem with their job as "a company problem." Freight volumes and rates are very cyclical in nature. You might have a slow down in LTL freight while having an increase in volume of construction materials or flatbed freight. There's really nothing you can do about it as a driver. Markets have all sorts of things that influence them, all of which are far beyond your control.

I can almost promise you this... if you don't let yourself get anxious over this, and keep from trying to convince yourself that your company isn't doing things right, in a month from now this problem will be off your radar. As long as a driver takes care of his business in a way that makes him a pleasant and profitable employee, he can stay busy out here. There will be times where things slow a bit, but they are always temporary and usually short lived.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

Ok, yeah, I was way off base... sorry OS, and everyone else. My post doesn't help, just puts negativity out there. sorry.gif

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Phoenix, you're not way off base. Rates have been dropping lately. Everyone got accustomed to some really great freight rates recently and now they want them to stay sky high. That's part of the volatility I was talking about. But I just wanted to point out how drivers have no control over those issues, and if they always blame these issues on their employer they will constantly be changing jobs unnecessarily. We (drivers) tend toward laying blame on our employers without understanding the deeper dynamics of the problems faced in the logistics business.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phoenix's Comment
member avatar

OS... thank you.

It takes time to gain perspective. As rookies, we are so absorbed in learning how to drive a massive vehicle safely, company policies and procedures, and adjusting to a huge lifestyle change that we don't see or understand the bigger picture. That comes with time. Once we feel more competent and things become a little more routine, we begin to see the ebb and flow of the business of trucking. Like drivers, companies can only control so much; there are so many aspects to this business, and it takes awhile before all the pieces begin to fit together. Changing companies makes this process take much longer, and eventually you find that most companies are fairly similar; it's little things that are different between them, and you have to ask yourself, is it really worth starting all over with a new company? I know, I did it this way, against advice seen and given here, and have my regrets now. I think it's ironic that five companies later, we had it best at our first... unless this one is as good as it seems to be. (Yeah, I hear it lol). Thing is, at the time, each time, we thought we had a good reason... only to find some of those reasons rather laughable now. Not trying to derail the thread, just trying to support the advice given here on Trucking Truth with a real world example... myself lol.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Out of curiosity which company are you with? How long have you been working there?

LTL freight volume goes up and down, I have been called off 2 times in a week, then there are weeks where we have so much freight they are begging people to work on the weekends.

From company to company hack even from terminal to terminal freight volume can fluctuate greatly. Personally I have been called off, when I work the next day i see drivers from other terminals and they are swamped.

Do not think it is specific to your company because I can assure you it isnt.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

Been with Estes Express since 2005. In the last 3 weeks been canceled 6 time as a line haul driver.

Out of curiosity which company are you with? How long have you been working there?

LTL freight volume goes up and down, I have been called off 2 times in a week, then there are weeks where we have so much freight they are begging people to work on the weekends.

From company to company hack even from terminal to terminal freight volume can fluctuate greatly. Personally I have been called off, when I work the next day i see drivers from other terminals and they are swamped.

Do not think it is specific to your company because I can assure you it isnt.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Line Haul:

Linehaul drivers will normally run loads from terminal to terminal for LTL (Less than Truckload) companies.

LTL (Less Than Truckload) carriers will have Linehaul drivers and P&D drivers. The P&D drivers will deliver loads locally from the terminal and pick up loads returning them to the terminal. Linehaul drivers will then run truckloads from terminal to terminal.
Michael S.'s Comment
member avatar

I’ve seen fluctuations before. One day hauling max weight and the next day 5,000 lbs and an empty. The only time a driver gets canceled has been because our meet driver is out and nobody to cover the run. That is Until about a month ago.

Out of curiosity which company are you with? How long have you been working there?

LTL freight volume goes up and down, I have been called off 2 times in a week, then there are weeks where we have so much freight they are begging people to work on the weekends.

From company to company hack even from terminal to terminal freight volume can fluctuate greatly. Personally I have been called off, when I work the next day i see drivers from other terminals and they are swamped.

Do not think it is specific to your company because I can assure you it isnt.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier
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