In May, I was invited to speak at the Houston chapter of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) on my favorite subject, the shortage of dray trucks.
I smugly declared, “There is no shortage of dray trucks, just waste and misuse.” Then I supported my seemingly contradictory claim with a long list of examples:
While all those inefficiencies still exist, the number of drivers has diminished in the last 4 months!
The Fracking Effect
The recent rise in oil prices have rekindled the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale. Their demand for oilfield truck drivers has driven up wages. Last week a former driver stopped by on a break from the Permian Basin. He told me he loved working for Excargo, but at $6K per week he couldn’t say no to the oilfield. He has a young family and bills to pay. Just last night a fellow fan at the Rockets’ game told me his friend is making $7K a week.
While some drivers are taking advantage of the fracking windfall, some threats and obstacles maintaining successful driver capacity are pervasive and others are changing.
Ultra Large Container Vessels
One of the latest challenges comes in the form of the larger container ships. The inconsistent dray work caused by less frequent sailings uncertainty and irregularity into every aspect of the supply chain, including dray drivers’ schedules. At Excargo, we’ve experienced this challenge firsthand, trying to hold on to our drivers during these peaks and valleys in the supply chain by diversifying services.
Seize the Dray
Dray provides the lifestyle so many safety-minded, family-oriented drivers prefer. Excargo is seeking to diversify with domestic and other freight services to add work for drivers in between vessels. To maintain driver capacity, we must work together with customers to continue to make it make sense for these driving professionals. Eliminating wasted time at customer docks so drivers can have productive, efficient days, and maximum their revenue is key to the success of the entire supply chain. Waiting is neither profitable nor fun. Steady, consistent workflow benefits us all.