Challenging Times for Shippers Continues
“Personal Health Scare for Me”
Hello everyone and welcome to the February 2018 version of “Al’s Corner.” Looking back at January we had our annual “Transportation Club and YSCP Holiday Party.” We had a huge turnout at the renovated Hideaway Bar on Arsenal. Big thanks to Glideaway for providing the pizza! I missed my first one in probably 15 years due to illness. I always enjoy the singing and banter, oh well next year. This year I had to rely on Brad’s recollection which I find slightly unreliable, but others said it was great too, so I am a believer!
Personal Well Being Update — Early in January I experienced a Bell’s Palsy type of thing where my left side of my face was numb, tingling, kind of like going to the Dentist and the pain killer doesn’t quite wear off. This scared my doctor and thus a ER visit was required. The big fear was stroke. It was not thankfully. No treatment was provided until I met with my regular doctor 4 days later. Prednisone and Valacyclovir were prescribed. The Prednisone was tough and caused extreme insomnia. The joke you always hear is “that is like someone being on steroids!” Now people who know me endure my non-stop talking, but on Prednisone I talked even more. I never got sleepy, so I talked for even longer amounts of time!!! Not sure if Valacyclovir worked as I put both down after a few days. Shortly thereafter I really thought I had gone through the worst as the Bells subsided. I even joked about it, how wrong I was!
Round 2 --- Way Worse --- A few days went bye and then I noticed a slight headache. In the morning it turned into the worst headache I had ever had. I called my doctor and my second ER visit occurred. This time I got another CT scan plus a MRI. Again nothing (what a surprise when scanning my head) showed and I was discharged again, and I was told to take a bunch of over the counter pain killers throughout the day. I did that for a few days and stopped them when they did not appear to help. I could go on and on, but to make a long story shorter, I finally got in to see a neurologist a week later. The headaches had never stopped for over a week. He looked at me briefly and said “you have been suffering from “Viral Meningitis!” Wow! Lucky for me and anyone I came close to it was not Bacterial, that one kills in a few days. What was the treatment he suggested? Nothing, he said it should run its course over a few weeks, and it seems to be doing so as I write this late on Feb 2. Getting old stinks!
I will update on this forum next month.
The Availability of Trucks is still tough --- shippers have been hoping for a better first 4 months, which is normally the cheapest for them yearly, but rates are still at historically elevated levels. The reasons are mostly due to the new hours of service government requirements that regulate and monitor the driver’s activities. It would not be that big of a deal until you add in the economy is doing well right now. Thus, the surplus of equipment has disappeared. The trucking industry has been struggling to get new truck drivers into the market for a while now and it is hurting now bigtime that we have not gotten new ones into this field. Driver pay was stagnant and hurt the cause. With higher wages now seeming going to happen, finally, more people will perhaps join the game. Logic told me something would give sometime down the road. I had watched rates go down for years, even though everything else in the world was going up. I had hoped that things were perhaps more streamlined, or trucks were just that more efficient.
The bubble has now popped, and shippers are forced to pay more. I have been doing this for a long while and many transportation managers only have experienced lots of equipment availability, and getting the lowest rates. The roller coaster is now going up. I am not happy about it, just reporting how I see it. But the roller coaster will swing the other way, someday.
I hope everyone has a great month, including me!
Giltner St. Louis