The real price of fuel

2008 August 5

Trucking companies are folding by the hundreds because of the exorbitant price of fuel, mostly the smaller fleets. I don’t think most people are really concerned about this since the goods are still showing up on the shelves of their local stores, and they’re still getting the raw materials they need to operate their businesses. So what difference does it make if all the independent truckers are run out of business? There’s still the big corporate fleets to take up the slack, right?

I work for one of those big corporate fleets, “They Who Must Not Be Named,” and I can tell you this company is thrilled that freight has picked up thanks to all these independents and smaller fleets being forced off the road. But they’re also happy for another reason, as are all the other powers-that-be. It’s all going according to plan. And here’s what I think the plan is.

The price of fuel has been raised to run the independents and smaller fleets out of business, ensuring the survival of most of the big companies during a period of recession. Once the recession is over, hands will be frantically waved about in the air about how there aren’t enough truckers to transport everything that needs to move to market.

There will be much bemoaning of the tragic loss of the independents and smaller fleets. Capacity can’t meet demand! Capacity can’t meet demand! And there’s a driver shortage! The driver shortage we’ve been predicting for a decade. Where will we go for help? What can we do? Oh wait, they’ll say, maybe, just maybe, the Mexicans can help us out of this fix.

Oh no, the American public will say, we are afraid of letting Mexicans haul our goods point to point in the United States. We don’t think they’re safe, or that their equipment is up to par. Basically they will say what they have been saying for a while in response to opening our borders to Mexican trucking firms, so lovingly endorsed by President Bush.

Yes, Americans will whine, but when freight prices skyrocket and they aren’t getting their shipments on time, or even at all, their whine will take on a different note. Well, they’ll say, we have been letting some Mexican trucking firms in for a while now, and the studies show that they aren’t as bad as we thought.

That’s right, the big trucking companies will say. And to further reassure the American public, the companies will promise that they themselves will go into Mexico, and provide safe American equipment, and the best American driving training to these willing Mexican workers.

Hmm, Americans will say. That sure makes a lot of sense. We feel much better, thank you. Okay, let the Mexicans do it.

Then all the big trucking corporations in America will throw the doors open on their super-duper new terminals they’ve opened just south of the border (on land they probably already own as I write this), and lovingly welcome all the new drivers from Mexico, who incidentally, will accept one-third the pay of their American fellows.

And everyone will live happily ever after.

Except the American trucker

2 Responses
  1. 2008 August 6

    Those rotten bastards.

  2. 2008 December 7

    I sure as shit hope you’re wrong.

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