Transportation Club of St. Louis
May Means NTW and Spring Golf Tournament
May 2019 has arrived and that means it time for another inspirational Al’s Corner message. May is always National Transportation Week (NTW) run wonderfully by Tom Komadina. This event normally entails a grade school class from a school in St. Louis. Over the years the Transportation Club and Tom has visited the National Transportation Museum, or inspected a Tractor Cab, and so on. The kids usually get gifts and prizes on this day of fun and learning. What NTW even more special is that the students don’t normally come from wealthy districts and that makes it an awesome experience for them.
May 10th is our Spring Golf Tournament this year held at Normandie Golf Club. Normandie is just off I-170 near Page and Olive. This is our first trip there and we are hopeful that the manager, world famous Jay Randolph Jr., will not only provide a great tourney, but his celebrity will draw as well. Jay has been a regular on Satellite Radio PGA Network as a commentator but a regular on KFANS radio and others. Built in 1901, Normandie is the oldest public golf course still in its original location west of the Mississippi. Exciting. It is older than our club by 6 years. For $85 you will get lunch, dinner, hole prizes, team prizes, and drink tickets. The club is hopeful that this will become a regular stop for us due its fantastic, central location. It appears that we will have a huge turnout for this event as we have reached our goal of 80 players. Keep in mind we can have well over 100 players, so don’t let the successful registration stop you.
Annual Dinner update---Michelle Schrock from WD-40 delivered a great Keynote presentation as we visited The Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) for the first time. The attendance was excellent, as was the food and drinks. Ed Ernest, AKA Double E, was given the lifetime achievement award. EE was very comfortable with the microphone (like me!!) and gave a nice speech of his journey in Transportation. It was a great evening at the MAC, and big thanks to the Incredible Julie Ahrling for setting this up there. Anna, Todd, and Brad, along with all the volunteers, all did an awesome job.
This month’s Topic---Freight Rates and Shipping---so I had written a very long note for this article but decided to shorten it. I had been bothered by the drop-in freight rates and what appears to be a slowdown in freight shipments (though our business has been good, we are battlers!). Even though many index reports have shown otherwise I think the economy has slowed a little. Transportation is usually one of the first indicators. In the back of my mind the politics (either way you support) of all of it bothers me. So, for the record I am not supporting any political notion.
Here are so my conclusions---
1. Warehouses are full perhaps now because last year shippers struggled getting their loads moved so they got ahead of it this year.
2. Last year the effects of the huge hurricane in Houston really messed things up by pulling some capacity from the market place disrupting normal shipping and the rates.
3. The freight rates are down as things have settled, probably to more of a normal level.
4. There are more trucks than loads in many markets which drives rates down. Semi-truck sales boomed last year and so did trailer sales.
5. So, the driver shortage is not as big a problem as we thought.
When you write a note like this, I rarely make bold statements—but being old school when shipping seems to have slowed, and freight rates drop it tells me something. This time, since so much has changed, in-home delivery, the demise of the brick and mortar stores, which has led to many more warehouses, I am not sure.
See you at the golf tournament.
AL Hursey, Giltner St. Louis