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JOC Guide to Trucking, August 2018

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August 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 11 www.joc.com Cover Story 2018 JOC Guide to Trucking strategy is more important today than in 2004," he said. "E-commerce is not going away; it's only going to get bigger. A short-term strategy isn't going to get you anywhere." l email: bill.cassidy@ihsmarkit.com twitter: @willbcassidy surge in demand, however, as the United States swaps tariffs with China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. "The tariffs are what keeps me up at night," said Brian Fielkow, CEO of drayage and truckload carrier Jetco Delivery. "There's a lot of imported steel and aluminum that comes in here," said Fielkow, whose company is based in Houston. Much of that raw material and pipe goes to oil field development. "That's led the recov- ery here, on top of crazy amounts of containerized cargo," he said. Past boom-and-bust cycles hold lessons for carriers as well as shippers, he said. "I still believe the cycles will have something to do with (pricing). We're at the cyclical high right now. Right now, the sun is shining on our industry, but let's not get cocky." The question is, when the wheel of fortune turns again, will demand fall faster than capacity, as measured in truck drivers? Not unless driver pay is much, much higher, Fielkow suggests. "We spend a lot of time talking about driver culture, but the money has to be there, too," he said. "The supply chain is reaping what it sowed," during decades when driver pay stagnated, outpaced by pay for other jobs that attract drivers, he said. Annual truckload driver pay needs to move into the $65,000 to $75,000 range, Fielkow said. He's not the first to suggest that. "That may seem like a big leap from around $50,000, but spread out over a year per load, it's not that significant," he said. "We need to have an honest conversation with our shippers. Carriers can't fix the driver shortage by themselves. There's needs to be collaboration." Janson agrees, and urges his fellow shippers to keep their eyes on the horizon. "Having a long-term 380 5 500 Dedicated Sales Team Despite the driver shortage, there are more truckers today than ever: 1,748,140 US tractor-trailer drivers in 2017 according to the US Department of Labor. Shutterstock.com

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