This Brian Fielkow article (“I’ve got a lot of problems with you people!”), which appeared on Freightwaves.com on Sept. 22, 2020, is a must read for all in the supply chain. Brian has given a thoughtful review of the roadblocks that this industry and the supply chain face today.
My initial reaction to this article from Brian comes from an outsider’s perspective of a truck driver. As I work with carriers every day, I see all these issues affect their ability to service their shipper’s needs. Transparency in the supply chain and workflow collaboration are necessary practices that great shippers and truck drivers need to adopt. I hear the word partnership thrown about on both sides of the aisle. However, I really have a hard time finding evidence of that partnership and collaboration. Trucking is a commodity to most shippers; we let people submit bids to garner some amount of volume for a volume-based rate. Then the data that tracks that commitment over the days and weeks of the contract is nonexistent. I see shipper rules become more arduous to make the freight transaction almost impossible to handle! Shippers have made trucking a commodity, and the problem with this market is that it is scarce and getting scarcer.
Brian proposes several valid solutions that I embrace. It’s simple to me; the carriers I work with know how to haul freight on time. Their key metric is On Time delivery, and they have set up the staff, tracking, and workflow to meet that 95% better bar that the shipper sets! (I fly a lot; I wish the airline had them same on time as truck drivers do!) Drivers, whom I’ve deemed essential workers for decades, face challenges to their availability that get tougher every day. They struggle to deliver loads via a national network filled with traffic, construction, weather, and mechanical failures, all of which are out of their control. Recently, this has also been compounded by the pandemic and riots. It is amazing the supply chain is as strong as it is
In every section that Brian points out, the end result will be a tighter supply chain with trust in the carriers that know what they are doing. Dare I say, let us address the waste in your shipping network and work with your preferred carrier base. Give drivers more drive time and less hassle; give the network more capacity by just letting drivers drive. What a concept, right?
Great work Brian!
TCA has recently partnered with Brian to offer TCA members an exclusive benefit – VIP workshops, six online courses, toolkits, and more – through Brian’s Making Safety Happen program. Learn more about how you and your team can join like-minded professionals and start building safety excellence at www.truckload.org.