Al’s Corner – December 2022

     Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Christmas time is here, can you believe it? Time for my last note for 2022. 

Next big event is January 18th.  TC STL New Years Happy Hour is once again at the “unique” bar Hideaway on Arsenal.  So many memories there.  Not sure if they have the same organ player, but Alvis may show up, either way.  Great Networking fun.

Ladies Day Luncheon was a huge success on Dec. 9th.  The old Bevo Mill provided an excellent venue.  Around 70 people attended, and for me was highlighted by a trip to the top of the old mill.  Great Job Anna Hickman and all her TC volunteers.

Transportation News—Railroad strike is avoided again for now.  A shutdown would have been catastrophic for prices on everything.  But the trouble is not over for the rail industry. They are going to have to try and compete in a very challenging market (slower) with their reputation of having terrible service being a major hindrance to success.  The rails will ultimately have to try and balance their Precision-Scheduling-Railroading which in many ways is heavy on Railroad profits.  They also put a band aid to some of the issues that the employees have with them.  Another problem is the RR’s have reduced their staffing tremendously over the years, thus making it harder to provide better service.  Stay tuned, this is not over.

Trucking Rates continue to fall despite Diesel still being near historic highs.  From what I have seen the “line haul” rates have fallen 30%, but with fuel still being high, it is overall more like 18%. With the wintertime on us it will be interesting to see how things go.  With the labor market still being off, I am not sure how carriers and drivers will respond to very low compensation. Will the carriers do the low rates, or will they start parking their trucks?

Christmas thoughts—every year I say that it is amazing to me how we still celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ globally. Easily the one birthday the world celebrates the most. For me, for many years this time is when I reflect on Christmas past, and how much my life is different today, than what it was over the years. My overall conclusion now is, I am and have been very blessed in almost every way.  I am grateful, period. Great wife, friends, family, and business.  I am particularly grateful that my 17-year-old cat is still with us. I never thought he would make it this long as the doctors gave him 3-6 months on May 1.  He limps around some, but seems to be doing what he does best, sleeping, chirping, begging for treats, playing a little, and getting lots of love from me and Kathy. I love him.

Christmas past—when I was a kid all I wanted every year was a new basketball, especially when they came out with an indoor/outdoor fake leather ball. I usually got a few shirts and a belt. My dad was always the first to get the newest technology.  We had the first microwave oven, dishwasher and biggest TVs.  In honor of my dad, I am getting a 85 inch Sony, dad would be so proud of me!!

Have a great Christmas and New Year! AL