Car haulers: there is light at the end of the tunnel
They say every cloud has a silver lining though I might be the first person to spot it. Due to a number of factors, a huge driver shortage is looming by 2012. The combination of fleet reduction, government rules, and low wages have conspired to leave the American economy 400,000 drivers short. This, on the surface is bador is it.
The number one complaint I get from carhaulers, truckers, and towers is that they cannot make enough money. The combination of high expenses and diminishing profits makes it harder and harder to make a living. There is a flip side to that though.
Drivers, because of supply and demand, are going to be able to demand higher wages and more benefits since it is getting so difficult to find drivers. This is simple supply and demand for car haulers.
I know what you are saying the new NAFTA trucking regulations will provide scores of new dirt cheap Mexican drivers. That may be true, but how many of these drivers will even make the regulation requirements required by the government.
These requirements cant be fudged since they Mexican truckers have to have an electronic on board recorder. These requirements may not even be a factor if Congress, who is already receiving criticism over the Mexican NAFTA trucker plan, lifts the United States funding on the electronic recorders.
This piece of equipment is only the start. There is a huge run on car hauling equipment. Car haulers are a specialized type of truck. It is only sold in a few places which will limit the flood of new car haulers hitting the road. It is also a specialty which requires experience and excellence. One dent, one scratch, or one traffic violation could sink a whole load of new cars for GM.
On top of that a major car carrier fell from grace with GM and Ford, opening up demand to scores of owner operators to deliver there cars. This alone is putting a tremendous strain on car hauler capacity as the recession surviving carhaulers go back to work.
There are definitely more pros favoring car hauler wage increases than cons against it. Americans love their cars and someone has to haul them and deliver them in MINT condition.
I imagine all this seems like speculation. I mean it is not beyond the realm of American business to find some new way to cheat owner operator car haulers out of increased wages. Perhaps they could offer incentives for customers to fly to certain hubs and drive their car back, eliminating the need for car haulers all together (boy that would suck). Maybe they could create their own fleets of car haulers that would work directly for them. (Actually that wouldn't be bad, have you seen some of the wages and benefits of GM employees) Maybe they could use a huge outsource hauling firm to reduce costs. (Already tried that--remember Allied)
You probably can see the ridiculousness of any of the above options which brings us back to our original discussion. Car haulers are going to have to make more for their loads. In a compulsion culture like ours where people want their new vehicle right there on order day, you are going to need car haulers and your going to pay more for those car haulers.
-Carhauler Equipment Superstore