Should The Government Regulate Freight Rates?

Does the Trucking Industry Need Government Regulated Freight Rates?

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 34.5%
  • No

    Votes: 14 48.3%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 5 17.2%

  • Total voters
    29

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
We all know, or most of us know, that a few decades ago, freight rates were regulated by the Government. Truckers pushed to put a stop to this, and ultimately go their way. Granted, I am too young to know, first hand, what all the reasoning was, but looking at the industry as it is today, I wonder if it was a mistake.

I am not a fan of Government involvement. I would rather see Government involvement in things only as a last result.

With no Government control of freight rates, the rates in which we haul freight can be controlled naturally, via honest competition.

The problem here though is that the competition isn't really honest. There are very large trucking companies who compete for freight with the little guys, but they have an edge. They are operating trucks with students that receive a pay rate that is much lower than what a person deserves for working in this industry. On top of that, this same company that is paying an inexperienced driver to haul their freight is very likely getting subsidized for the "training" they gave them. Then, when this same company can stick two inexperienced drivers in a truck together to move the freight even faster, it doesn't make for a competitive market. It results in huge companies forcing the little guy out of business because they simply can't compete at the same rates.

Basically, the Government is helping these large companies push the independent out of business. While that may not be the intention, it is becoming the result.

So, in order to make the playing field level for everyone in the industry, do we need to consider regulating freight again?
 

FlatBroke

Well-Known Member
Well, I guess I will be first. I voted yes, BUT only if it would mean that all had a fair chance. No more big companies running over the independents or small companies.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
My vote comes with a whole lot of stipulations, but the short answer is that I am leaning toward yes, and that is a tough thing for me to say. I am not fully convinced with that answer, but since the government is already doing things that give the large companies a huge edge, something needs to be done to level the playing field, for a while anyway.
 

sledgehammer

smashing the hammer down
hell yeah!

yes they should so people will stop cutting each others heads off. we are all out here to make a living!!!
We all know, or most of us know, that a few decades ago, freight rates were regulated by the Government. Truckers pushed to put a stop to this, and ultimately go their way. Granted, I am too young to know, first hand, what all the reasoning was, but looking at the industry as it is today, I wonder if it was a mistake.

I am not a fan of Government involvement. I would rather see Government involvement in things only as a last result.

With no Government control of freight rates, the rates in which we haul freight can be controlled naturally, via honest competition.

The problem here though is that the competition isn't really honest. There are very large trucking companies who compete for freight with the little guys, but they have an edge. They are operating trucks with students that receive a pay rate that is much lower than what a person deserves for working in this industry. On top of that, this same company that is paying an inexperienced driver to haul their freight is very likely getting subsidized for the "training" they gave them. Then, when this same company can stick two inexperienced drivers in a truck together to move the freight even faster, it doesn't make for a competitive market. It results in huge companies forcing the little guy out of business because they simply can't compete at the same rates.

Basically, the Government is helping these large companies push the independent out of business. While that may not be the intention, it is becoming the result.

So, in order to make the playing field level for everyone in the industry, do we need to consider regulating freight again?
 

CarolinaTrucker

Well-Known Member
I don't think the government needs to regulate freight rates. I think the truckers need a Truckers Union. A union could help owner operators & fleet owners as a large group on controlling some of the problems within the trucking industry. A union could help us on getting better rates, fair regulations and make a strong band together during time like now.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Here is the problem with talks of a Union.

You have companies out there like Swift, J.B Hunt, and other huge corporations. Unions won't get into those companies, and as a result, there will never be a 100% effort to bring freight rates up by a Union.

The big companies haul freight at a cheaper rate, and they won't stop doing it until the little guy is eliminated. At that point, they can start forcing the rates up again because the competition has been eliminated. And unless you can get a Union into these companies, the Union would be completely worthless to the rest of us.
 

FlatBroke

Well-Known Member
Hey, if the government did regulate it....

Would there still need to be a organization such as OOIDA?
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hey, if the government did regulate it....

Would there still need to be a organization such as OOIDA?
Yes, we still need a voice in Washington, and that is what they are.

I realize that during this day and time, when the industry is in a mess and in need of drastic change, many look down upon the OOIDA, but they have to understand what the OOIDA can and can't do. They are there daily lobbying to do as much for us as possible, and they need full support in doing it.

They can't, however, call for something like a shutdown, or there would no longer be an OOIDA. Also, these guys could be looking at jail time if they were to try.

Also, they have to be very careful in what they say when people question them about things like a shutdown. If they say anything remotely indicating they support something like this, they face much trouble. This is why, while many are pushing for the shutdown, the OOIDA is doing what they can legally, by pushing for those who are running to demand fair freight rates. This is why they are pushing drivers to contact their reps in Washington to create a bill that would demand all fuel surcharges be passed directly to those who are buying the fuel. Right now, there is no law requiring that, and I hope that everyone who is reading this has already contacted their reps about this.

OOIDA is a great tool for all of us, but it is only as good as we make it.
 

FlatBroke

Well-Known Member
Ok thanks, I will give you a break for a while, then bring back another round of question's later. :p
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
In regards to regulating freight, I want to be clear on my thoughts.

I think we need it, right now. But I think it should only be temporary, and should take place during a transition where the industry is put on a level playing field by accomplishing things such as:
  • Eliminating the ability for large, cut-throat companies, to purchase fuel in bulk, and have the major oil companies/truckstops store it for them. This is an unfair business practice.
  • Stop the government from paying these large companies for running potential drivers through their CDL mills and putting inexperienced drivers out on the road as fast as they possibly can. This is an unfair, and unsafe business practice.
  • Fuel surcharges must be paid by shippers, and it must all go to whoever is buying the fuel. Right now, the large companies can take a lesser fuel surcharge, or even no fuel surcharge, because the profit they need on each load is much, much less than the profit needed by an independent or small fleet. Once again, this is an unfair business practice.
There are more, but basically you get the idea here. I don't like government interaction in business, but in the case of the trucking industry, they already have their hands so deep into it, we are at the point we need it in the freight rates as well.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Ok thanks, I will give you a break for a while, then bring back another round of question's later. :p
Keep them coming, LOL.

I know the OOIDA isn't perfect, but as it stands, we don't have anything better. I would love for another organization to rise up and give them some competition. All it would do is help our industry.
 

I Don't Think So

Well-Known Member
well the way i see it and i have driven truck for 8 years previous to becoming a truck detailer is that the government controlling all the freight rates is the entire reason some independent owner - operators go under the price of fuel is goin up and the freight rates remain the same how is anyone supposed to make any money to support their families make their truck payments and all their bills if they can' afford the fuel because the government has to think they are the ones who have the rights to control your business, i have said this before i will say it now it's unconstitutional.....

sign the petition at http://idontthinkso.us goto the fuel petition link on the left thank you!!
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
i voted a resounding NO..........

by having government controls as to rates, you monopolize the system of competition of companies. if everyone where to charge the same rates as per govermnet control the bigger companies will have a huge advantage, and here's why.....they have MORE trucks and drivers available at any given time....

so, "joe blow o/o" needs freight, he can't "bid" since there are pricing controls.. thusly, he loses out. don't forget too, that companies can have teams (yes, so can an o/o), but then too, companies can relay freight faster, then return to the starting point for more loads.....

its like the phone company "Bell" for instance.....it was the ONLY phone company in america, thereby monopolizing the rates, and when the rates went up EVERYBODY had to pay.....when the government forced the phone company to "break up", this made for more phone companies to come into the game and offer better service at a lower rate..........

i'll go on to say, seriously, if an o/o can not charge an appropriate amount for his services, then he is NO businessman whatsoever..........


if anything at all, maybe what we need is a "set minimum" that the shippers MUST PAY, then bid "UP" from there.........or, at least, since the "set minimum" is in place, NO ONE can "BID LOWER" than that.......then, the highest bidder MUST do the job, or lose any monies he is owed....BUT that might push drivers to break the laws too.............

take for instance milk..........that's right......milk.....

did you know some store owners were charged, yes charged, by either the state or federal government for selling milk BELOW the price the store bought it for.....?? that's right.........it had/has to do with "price protection and business failure laws"................

so, why can't we have a "minimum pricing protection" for the trucking industry, without full government regualtion........???

as it stands now, the future for the o/o is bleak, there aren't anywhere's as many o/o's today as there was 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.......... many large trucking companies now have drop yards, dedicated accounts, leased drivers, you name it, they got it.......this puts the o/o's of today at a huge disadvantage...............
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
There is already government controlling things, by them giving money to the major carriers for running students through CDL mills, and calling it training.

I am all for government staying out, but only if you can get them completely out of the picture.

And by getting them out of the picture, you have to stop the favoritism that the ATA gives toward these big carriers.
 

GAnthony

Methuselah
Supporter
There is already government controlling things, by them giving money to the major carriers for running students through CDL mills, and calling it training.

I am all for government staying out, but only if you can get them completely out of the picture.

And by getting them out of the picture, you have to stop the favoritism that the ATA gives toward these big carriers.
its the ATA that's pushing more entry level requirements of newbies, and they want the guberment to do this.......so unless the ATA is abolished, the guberment will be involved...........
 

RobW

Wait Wait Wait...
I can't say I fully agree with regulation, but I see a major problem as things are today. The trucking industry at large is regulated all over the place. The only thing I think isn't regulated now is the frieght rate itself. We're forced to drive in specific manners, and to some degree, at certain times. We're forced to stop driving after 11(which I think is generally good) and take a break even if we don't sleep. We're forced to keep equipment and logs in correct condition as well. While that's a good thing, it costs money. The only thing we can't seem to do is charge enough to make a good living, and that's because of deregulation. No, not entirely, but it's a big player in our game.

I like the idea of a set minimum more than overall rate regulation. I'd even like to see limits on how much the larger companies can use new drivers... At least while they're being subsidized by our government(at the expense of all of us). Surely it isn't fair for a company to hire on newbies while the rest of us pay for those drivers to learn how to drive, etc., all the while making more money due to the ability to deliver more frieght because of those drivers. They're literally being paid twice. Kinda like tolling the roads, except this case allows the company to profit more rather than the government. :nono: Neither is remotely fair.
 

freedomroad

Well-Known Member
yeah,let's get obama in the freight business i'm sure that will help. how about stop hauling produce out of california for one day. how about the word [BACKHAUL] IT'S A LOAD.north, south,east,or west it cost the same to move it. the window is open,and it's time to make some noise,IT'S TIME!
 

freedomroad

Well-Known Member
martin luther king went to jail for what he belived in! if i wanted to make this long i can name many more. no change will come inside the box! i am an ooida member, but they better start building some heat or membership & money will drop.the information they print is like reading the magizine from A.A.R.P.
 

gearjammer

jammer
Supporter
I see you took my advice and are checking out the older threads,trust me it makes for some interesting reading!!
 
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