Deregulation and Unionization

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by Renegade92, Jul 9, 2022.

  1. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

    Sep 10, 2010
    Flint, MI
    Not only that UPS has a substantial non-union section called UPS freight. I wonder how much that is rolled into the figures.
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  3. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Kind of a broad brush to call a monopolistic package delivery service like UPS a "trucking company". Does that include "trucking companies" like Walmart and Coca Cola as well?
  4. BennysPennys

    BennysPennys Heavy Load Member

    Sep 24, 2021
    UPS had UPS Freight, remember they sold it or rather paid some other company hundreds of millions to take it off their hands due to it never making a profit for them.
  5. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Levittown, PA
    They were individual owner ops joining a local for work happens but not to organize 'owner operators'; that's the reason the teamsters are pushing the miss-clasification issue so hard thinking they can organize the newly minted 'employees' working the ports. They must be smoking the real good stuff........
  6. Renegade92

    Renegade92 Light Load Member

    Oct 2, 2019

    I really respect your effort and decision to PARK. If trucks, and not just a truck were to do the same thing, all over the country, I do believe the opposition could be made to hurt. I do believe that change could happen.

    Unfortunately, you were alone, and therefore your impact was futile as you stated.

    Before I continue, let me make it clear that the rest of this message is not directed to those OOs who have managed to operate successfully and have withstood the test of time. Rather, this message is for those who have created a situation for themselves that does not allow them to park. A situation that requires them to roll their wheels to the tune of rates that are way too low. My intent while writing what I have written below, is to constructively criticize, and nothing less. Please do not take offense.

    From what I've gathered over the years, from reading discussions on this website, and talking with some guys that I went to high school with who are now Owner-Operators, and from meeting OOs while on the road myself, the ability to start a trucking business is too easy.

    What I mean by that, is that these days, it seems like anybody can start/have a "trucking business". I'm not talking about the fact that getting approval for financing is too easily given, and too easily accepted. The notion that modern society is too comfortable being a slave to financing and debt, is a conversation for another time.

    I am talking about my observation, which has shown me that many OO are blind, in ways that aren't good for them:
    Blinded by the pride that comes along with being able to claim that they are their own boss. Blinded by the pride that comes from claiming that they own (technically, they financed; the bank owns it until it is paid off) their own truck. Blinded by the pride that comes from being able to claim that they have their own business. And last, and perhaps the worst, blinded by the pride that comes from the ability to claim that they are "grossing" six figures annually. Those of us who actually know something, know that gross isn't worth anything; it is all about net.​

    And blinded too by an attitude of ignorance that is too common. An attitude that entails an OO not knowing and doing things that any responsible and competent business owner should know and do in general, regardless of the business. ​

    Such as not knowing what his true operating-cost-per-mile is, aka his break-even point. Not knowing what his profit margin is, as in not knowing how much money he is actually making and taking home. I understand that OO have a long list of items to pay for, and that the math will require effort to solve. But, if you have chosen to be a business owner, your refusal to do the math will ensure your failure. Learn the math, or get out. ​

    Also, not accounting for the real depreciation of his equipment (in the case of OO, very expensive equipment). I'm not talking about "phantom" depreciation, which has to do with the IRS. I am talking about acknowledging the fact that equipment has a lifespan. In the context of trucking, that lifespan is measured in miles. Real word wear and tear will require that your equipment eventually be put out of commission, and replaced.​

    And further, not respecting their time-worked. The CPM pay structure in general, is problematic as it is, as it does not take into account real world delays. But when you drive for low rates, it becomes even worse. Detention and layover fee amounts, are not suffice either.​

    Instead, many just believe that if they keeps the wheels rolling, they will make it.

    And so you end up with an industry that is full of businesses burdened with financing, and "leases", etc., for which the true costs aren't even known nor understood.

    Which leads to an industry full of businesses that have to do one or more of the following, throughout the life of the business, just to survive. Not thrive, but survive:
    -utilize factoring to compensate for their mismanagement of their cash flow's timing
    -settle for profit margins that are too lean if even existent at all
    -operate with a perpetual lack of cash reserves. ​

    Not all OOs are like this. But many of them are. Further, enough of them are, so as to hurt the industry as a whole, for everybody.

    Ask yourself the following:
    -How can a business be expected to turn down work if their cash flow is so messed up, that factoring is relevant?
    -How can a business be expected to turn down work, when they don't see that the rate, and it's entailed profit margin, is too low?
    -And how can any business be expected to turn down work, if they are broke, or just about broke, as in there are no cash reserves to call on?​

    What all of this means, is that a large portion of businesses in trucking are operationally incompetent, and thus financially weak, to the point of dire straits.

    The opposition, the brokers, they know this. And they push those offensively low rates on the market, because history has shown that somebody will take it. They know that their is no reason to push a decent rate, when many will settle for less.

    The industry is paying just enough to survive.

    The only way things will get better, is if those who are operating as I described above, to change their ways, or get out. And further, for anybody who has yet to get in, who plans to do things like I described above, to stay away.
  7. merv85

    merv85 Light Load Member

    Mar 24, 2020
    Dallas, Tx
    IMO any mega trucking company with more than 500 company drivers should be in unionization, i see no harm in that,

    what are the Mega Company owners going to do?.. shut down the terminals and move to mexico

    not a feasible option for a trucking companyo_O.
  8. Ridgeline

    Ridgeline Road Train Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Well this isn’t the case, the industry doesn’t control what is payed out to owner operators, the customers do.

    the customers actually set the rates, this always seems to come from contracted freight, not spot market.

    the defect in the system we have now is the broker and load board crap that has proven to be huge profit centers and needs to be fixed, one is not owning or initiating the load. A broker who reposts a load that exists from another broker and doesn’t have exclusive rights to do so - scraping a load off the board - is not responsible for that load but just getting a share of it for little or no work.

    The problem with unions is they are equalizers to the lowest denominator. They for businesses remove a lot of autonomy for decision making and can not fit into the business model of any independent contractor, be it any IT person or an owner.
  9. Renegade92

    Renegade92 Light Load Member

    Oct 2, 2019

    Are you saying that authority for pricing runs downwards, from the shipper to the broker, and onto the driver?

    I believe it runs upwards, from the driver, to the broker, and onto the shipper.

    If driver's were not so willing to accept lower rates, then the broker would not be agreeing to move freight for its customers at the rates that they currently do. Brokers will choose to pass on the additional expense to the "customer", aka the shipper.

    I believe it no different than consumer goods. When things go bad in this world, and production costs rise, I don't believe the business takes the hit. Rather, they pass on those additional costs to the consumer, in an effort to preserve the business's profit.
  10. wis bang

    wis bang Road Train Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Levittown, PA
    This is not totally accurate.

    The customer's lower pricing demands are often the result of another carrier proposing to do the work for a total lower overall rate.

    Carriers will 'adjust' to these demands to possibly keep the work, usually without any input from the drivers.

    Despite the 'complications' from brokering and [illegal] double brokering, etc.; since deregulation there is always someone willing to do things cheaper.
  11. Wasted Thyme

    Wasted Thyme Road Train Member

    Jan 27, 2020
    GOAT watching
    It's pretty simple on the "pricing." One broker/company is going to try to underbid the current one. The customer is going to take the cheapest price. Assuming they don't have a down turn in the level of service they want. So essentially. Pricing is by whoever can offer the best rate. Simple huh?
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