AL'S CORNER

AL Hursey

Past President - Transportation Club of St. Louis

al.hursey@rockfarm.com      618-795-3672

Transportation Club of St. Louis

                                         Fall Golf, Transportation News, Big Election

     

Finally, October 2020 is here! That means it is not only time for another Al’s Corner note, but also our second Transportation Club Golf Outing.  Friday, October 23rd is the date for the Fall Tournament. Quail Creek, in south country, is once again your destination for Golf, Fun, Tasty Beverages, and Networking.  The price is $90 which includes lunch, dinner, 5 drink tickets, and prizes.  This golf event is tailored for all levels of ability. With that in mind, come out and swing away!  I really hope to you see you there as many lifelong friendships and memories (mostly good ones) have started at this outing.

   

Transportation News---Spot Market Pricing continues to soar.  For me, it has been one of many surprising things that have happened in 2020.  What I found weird was when the virus started in March, rates went down bigtime and quickly.  They got as low as it was 10 years ago.

 

It was as though the world had stopped.  Loads disappeared.  Imports stopped.  For many shippers, it was suddenly terrible as many items that they made were no longer needed or were not selling.  Warehouses were full too.  It was devastating for many carriers.

 

I recall one load in March that a carrier of ours took to a central Florida destination.  Traditionally, that time of year produce would be running hot, so backhauls would be easy to get and well paying.  Not this year.  Because schools, casinos, cruise ships, and restaurant needs were low, loads were sparse.  In March, April, May and June, I believe many carriers were taking pretty much any load, no matter how low the rate was.  Many brokers (not us) were pounding the rates lower to the trucks in order to increase THEIR PROFITS too.

 

Trucking companies were battling just to keep their companies going, and drivers basically trying to make something.  Finally, Carriers and Drivers, freight rates slowly started to go up as the summer continued and people did more things.  Restaurants, Casinos, Hotels, and manufacturing opened some, as did many other businesses even at reduced capacity.  What was happening was people could not stay home forever.  Some of the heaviest shipping was in home repairs and such as people were bored and they  had extra time at home.  In my neighborhood I saw many new AC and Heating systems, Roofs, Landscaping, Garage Doors, Gutters, Painting, Kitchen and Bathroom remodeling and so on.

 

The big stimulus checks helped a lot too, as many who were struggling suddenly had money to spend.  In some cases, people were even making more than when they were working.  This did cause some issues as their past employers could not get the old employees to come back for less pay. To me, this kind of showed that if more people would make a higher wage, they would spend more.  Others felt like it was a terrible freebee to lazy people.  I did not, but obviously it was not a perfect thing, just done in a crisis.

 

Businesses were given stimulus money if they would continue to keep their employees hired for 10 weeks.  This was not perfect either.  Our company hired 2 people in late summer, with the goal of growing our business.  I believe this was one of the goals of the stimulus, and to get people spending and hiring again.  It worked, as I said above, mostly.  How this will come back to bite us down the road is the big question.  I am thinking higher taxes.

 

Now, in September the freight rates have skyrocketed as it seems that demand for transportation is higher than the amount of equipment in the marketplace.  This started in August, and again it surprised me. How long it will last?  I will update next month.

    

Big Election---Naturally, after what I consider one of the worst years for the world in my lifetime, we have a presidential election.  That is all we needed with the turmoil, which was started by the virus, and then exploded with the social unrest.  I am going to share with you a few thoughts, but not any political party things leaning either way.

    

1.           When you are watching any political ad pay attention to what someone has said or stated as their policy, not what the ad is pointing out about the other person running.  I find some of these types of ads insulting as they think we are dumb.  And running that add 20 times a day makes it terribly annoying.  

2.           Remember, much of TV reporting is now “Commentary Reporting.”  Most of what is on TV that has “someone’s name as the shows name” is trying to sway you one way or another or trying to help you validate your beliefs.  The networks know who is watching and tailor their show and beliefs to match.  Not all of it is true or untrue.

3.            This stuff makes deciding who is telling the truth hard. It can even cause anger, and frustration. Do not let it.  I have made my choices, and I am comfortable with them. There was a time that I wanted to share my thoughts with others, even try and persuade others.  I have concluded that most people vote one party only, no matter what, and will never consider voting any other way.  They believe their party is 100 % right, and even believe that forcing their will is ok if it fits THEIR AGENDA, or the way they see things.  Many people I know have one or two topics that makes it so they could never vote the other way.  So, I am letting this go away for me quietly and satisfyingly.  I have given up worrying about it, I am only one person. VOTE!

  

NEXT UP---My continuous streak of walking 10,000 steps per day is now at 165 in a row.  I realize that not many read this note (I wish they did), so I doubt that I am inspiring anyone to try and do it.  Sometimes during my lonely walks (nice too) I imagine myself as Forrest Gump saying, “Walk Al, Walk!”.  I am not sure how long it will last, but I was thinking a year or two might be a good total.  I have already done it for a year, so I am not stopping now!

Here are some other numbers:

*Last Time I did not get 10,000 steps in a week was Aug. 25, 2019

*13 months in a row with 10,000 steps in a week, Sept 1, 2019 to Sept. 30, 2020

* I have averaged 85,000 steps per week since April 16th, of 2020

 *So, I Average 12,000 steps per day = 6 miles per day

 * 2,060,000 total steps = 1030 miles since April 16

  * 4,700,000 steps for the last year = 2350 miles

  *I have walked from Los Angeles to Wheeling, WV

 

I would suggest everyone get a fitness tracker though.  Knowledge is power!  Mine on the humorous side tells me “Feed Me” when I have not walked enough!  

This makes me tired just thinking about it.

  

 Have a great month,

  

  Al Hursey

Rockfarm St. Louis 618795-3672 al.hursey@rockfarm.com