As the integration of Truckload and Freight into XPO Logistics continues I have been seeing a high level of uncertainty within the Driver Force.
It is not an unnatural phenomenon and certainly we have had reason for concern but as drivers the risk to our jobs is almost non existent. A recent enticement to stay was addressed on a visit to Operations where I was asked if I thought that some drivers were waiting to receive the bonus at the end of April before turning in their keys. I explained to the questioner that a $1,000 bonus would be taxed to a point where we wouldn't see most of it and what little was left isn't a real reason to stay. I doubted that most would stay because of it - although it was nice to receive.
By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard that there was a reduction in the numbers of employees in the old Con-way organization. This meant the loss of jobs in the Freight division which numbered in the hundreds. For Truckload we were in a better position and lost only ten people. In comparison to Freight we did very well although those who are listed among ten may not agree. We do not yet know if there will be further reduction but for now we are doing okay.
There were no driver positions cut.
We currently have 200+ trucks sitting empty but according to the Big House, where there was a very serious meeting on the subject just the other day, the plan is to raise the number of available miles before we work hard on filling the empties. Obviously doing it any other way would reduce the number of available miles for the drivers we currently have so I think we should be pleased with the method being used.
In the middle of this planning came the news that the Teams who currently enjoy the Dedicated XPO Freight lanes will be loosing them because we have been underbid. I have personally spoken with some of these teams all of whom are concerned enough about their future ability to earn that they are looking elsewhere. Apparently, according to the Big House, the bidding 'war' isn't yet over and we will be rebidding on those lanes again. Whether we will get them back immediately or in a few months is uncertain but at least it is being worked on.
There are a few Rumors making the rounds, one of which is that we will become an 100% Owner Operator Company. We have nothing to be concerned about; nobody in the Big House has heard this.
One of the companies bought by XPO Logistics is Jacobson who is, I am told, the only company ever to develop a real Dedicated Longhaul System. I was surprised to hear this believing that the Dedicated Organization was a fairly easy thing to arrange. XPO Truckload is working on integrating the Jacobson method into our operations which, I am told, will be a benefit to all dedicated Drivers.
The above is what I have learned in the last few days from the Big House which hopefully will put a few rumors to rest and improve the Driver Outlook for a while at least. Ellen and I are still on our dedicated lane from Salem to Laredo (XPO Freight) and have not heard anything about loosing it yet. I hope we get a little notice because our truck isn't ready to run OTR quite yet, we stock the truck with clothes enough to last the week and would be stopping to do laundry every other day if things change without an opportunity to go home first.
May is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.