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(1,164 posts)
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:25 PM Feb 2022

Why Trucking is Struggling - 94% Turnover

And the port conditions of course.
More info in the supply chain.
If everybody is "an independent contractor " when they don't want to be, why are companies suprised when people dont show under adverse conditions?. Reminds me of an article at Utne reader, from 10 years ago, on distribution/warehouse workers.


For the past dozen years, Omar Alvarez has been a key link in the nation’s supply chain. He’s one of some 12,000 truckers who haul the containers from the adjacent ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (where 40 percent of all the ship-borne imports to the United States arrive) to the immense complex of warehouses 50 miles east of L.A., where the goods are unpacked, resorted, put back on other trucks, and sent to all the Walmarts, Targets, and the like within a thousand-mile radius.

Alvarez works for one of the largest trucking companies at the ports, XPO Logistics, but XPO insists that Alvarez and his fellow truckers aren’t really employees. As far as XPO is concerned, they’re independent contractors and it treats them as such—though they drive XPO trucks they lease from the company or its adjuncts and can’t use those trucks for any other jobs. As independent contractors, they receive no benefits and aren’t covered by minimum-wage statutes. They must pay for their gas, maintenance, rig insurance, and repairs themselves; and, ever since the pandemic clogged the ports with more goods than ever before, they’ve had to wait in lines for as long as four to six uncompensated hours before they can access a container and get it on the road. If they get in the wrong line at the port, they literally can’t get out, surrounded by other trucks and doomed to waste more time. Many ports don’t even provide bathrooms for waiting truckers, because they aren’t port employees.

According to a 2019 study by the Labor Center at the University of California, Berkeley, the median annual pre-tax income of Alvarez and his fellow port truckers, once their expenses are factored in, is a munificent $28,000.

“We have no health insurance,” Alvarez says. Like the majority of port truckers, he’s an immigrant who doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. “When I need to see a doctor,” he says, “I drive [not in his truck] to Tijuana.”

Perhaps one-fifth of port truckers actually are independent contractors; nearly everyone else is, like Alvarez, misclassified as independents. Over the past decade, dozens of lawsuits from misclassified drivers have resulted in judgments affirming that they’ve been misclassified and awarding them compensation from the companies that misclassified them. XPO recently paid a $30 million fine to a large number of its drivers. But neither XPO nor any of the other fined companies have stopped misclassification. It’s cheaper for them to pay a fine than to pay their drivers a living wage.

Not surprisingly, given the long waits and meager rewards, a lot of drivers have simply stopped showing up. According to Gene Seroka, the executive director of the Port of L.A., fully 30 percent of the port’s 12,000 drivers no longer show up on weekdays, a percentage that rises to 50 percent on weekends. Once the waits exceed six hours, as they now sometimes do, drivers would run the risk of exceeding the 11-hour federal limit on trucker workdays if they then were to actually get a load—which means the port must turn them away, and they’ll have spent an entire workday for no pay at all.

Why Trucking is Struggling - 94% Turnover (Original Post) leighbythesea2 Feb 2022 OP
They make no money Mary in S. Carolina Feb 2022 #1
This above. Corgigal Feb 2022 #3
There was a time when most drivers were union. llmart Feb 2022 #4
I heard this leighbythesea2 Feb 2022 #5
Wow, I had no clue that was happening. But, but, but, we need more tax cuts for the rich. onecaliberal Feb 2022 #2
Using cannabis brings trouble via DOT. Could be a factor, too. Nt Baked Potato Feb 2022 #6
It's a huge factor these days, drug/alcohol testing is required madville Feb 2022 #12
I think eventually there has to be a compromise. Nt Baked Potato Feb 2022 #13
The only possibility would be "real time" testing like alcohol madville Feb 2022 #14
Agree, and it has to be rock solid accurate. Nt Baked Potato Feb 2022 #16
Why aren't there trucker protests about this? Could it be that the money for protesting is enough Feb 2022 #7
It's a leighbythesea2 Feb 2022 #10
What a surprise, independent contractors...start acting like... Xolodno Feb 2022 #8
The trucking industry preys on entry-level drivers madville Feb 2022 #9
Definitely leighbythesea2 Feb 2022 #11
Yep. You see companies like Schneider with permanent ads on the side of their trucks looking ... Hassin Bin Sober Feb 2022 #17
USF Holland just told us they were no longer Miguelito Loveless Feb 2022 #15
k&r Demovictory9 Feb 2022 #18

Mary in S. Carolina

(1,364 posts)
1. They make no money
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:32 PM
Feb 2022

Trucking is a scam, they lure people into buying their own trucks, responsible for repairs and insurance, etc. They contract for long hours, and they get paid peanuts. One of the worse and most dangerous jobs in the US if you ask me (due to the number of hours driving).


(9,291 posts)
3. This above.
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:40 PM
Feb 2022

I always thought it was a middle class lifestyle, while it’s hard work.

Nope, I was wrong and they get paid much less then I expected.


(15,134 posts)
4. There was a time when most drivers were union.
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:47 PM
Feb 2022

They got paid well with great benefits. But after Reagan, that all disappeared.


(1,164 posts)
5. I heard this
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:54 PM
Feb 2022

Know some folks whose family have/had generations doing this work. It used to be pretty good. Now it's better if you are working a local area, and going home at night. So the youngest switched to that.


(7,362 posts)
12. It's a huge factor these days, drug/alcohol testing is required
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 09:40 PM
Feb 2022

I work for a big electric utility, still have to maintain a Class A CDL for my position but rarely ever drive a commercial vehicle these days. Had to take a random drug test (urinalysis) last week, testing is tracked by and required because of federal DOT regulations.


(7,362 posts)
14. The only possibility would be "real time" testing like alcohol
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 10:00 PM
Feb 2022

If some form of THC testing is eventually accepted that can reliably prove someone is not under the influence say within 12 hours of use, there might be some avenue to move away from the current zero tolerance standard.


(13,163 posts)
7. Why aren't there trucker protests about this? Could it be that the money for protesting is
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 08:56 PM
Feb 2022

coming from somewhere else?


(1,164 posts)
10. It's a
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 09:23 PM
Feb 2022

Really long article, but at the very end it says thats what needs to happen. Protesting & unionizing, (like they did 70 years ago).
There are some legal suits happening in CA, basically if they "look and act like employees", call them such-- that misclassification violates the nation's labor laws.


(6,059 posts)
8. What a surprise, independent contractors...start acting like...
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 09:13 PM
Feb 2022

..independent contractors.

Is this job worth it? Nope. Then not taking it.


(7,362 posts)
9. The trucking industry preys on entry-level drivers
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 09:17 PM
Feb 2022

People can make a good living doing it, especially in niche fields, either working for a company or as an independent.

BUT……a large part of the industry is built around churning through entry level drivers as a business model, many do it a year or two then give up.

Long haul or OTR driving is the most common entry level job, it is seen by many as a stepping stone to get a better local/regional gig with a company and benefits. The better trucking jobs all require several years of experience, the only way for many to get experience is to work a crappy job for a few years.

Hassin Bin Sober

(25,969 posts)
17. Yep. You see companies like Schneider with permanent ads on the side of their trucks looking ...
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 11:02 PM
Feb 2022

… for drivers.

Never a good sign when a company is always hiring.

Miguelito Loveless

(4,404 posts)
15. USF Holland just told us they were no longer
Mon Feb 7, 2022, 10:30 PM
Feb 2022

picking up for the next 3 weeks, delivery service only. They blame COVID and no shows.

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