Al’s Corner – February 2023

Happy Hour and International Business Night

Hello again and welcome to the February 2023 version of Al’s Corner note.  Lots to discuss, let’s hit it!

Big, terrible loss—as Brad Reinhardt’s mom Janice died on Feb 3rd.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all in this awesome family. Losing a mom is always tough! I really didn’t know her but from what I have heard she was a fantastic lady and leader of the family.

February 9 is our next Happy Hour. This one is at the site of many of them the past Big Daddys in the Soulard area.  Free food, a cash bar, and tons of fun and networking. 

February 21 is International Business Night. It is also being held just south of downtown St. Louis at “The Cedars” located at 939 Lebanon Dr., St. Louis. This is a big event that pulls in a different segment of our industry. I also enjoy the MC at this event!  Time to get out and have some fun, network, and learn a few new things.

Transportation Stuff—the Over-The-Road trucking part is VERY competitive and rates for the most part continue to slightly drop. Not on all lanes though. Since our company specializes in freight brokerage, the rates are just that.  Sometimes like last year, they were very high, and so were we.  This year they are down some, and so we are down too.  It’s a market that continues to change so you must adapt.  My prediction is the rates will stabilize this year; they may have already. 

Ocean rates have plummeted.  During covid, it ended up being a double whammy because the ports were jammed, and the container prices were crazy high, the highest I have ever seen. So nothing was moving and the ones that were ridiculously high. Also, many shippers moved their products to other ports outside of California to avoid congestion.

Trucking equipment is dropping too.  I believe used tractors and trailers have dropped 18% in the last 6 months.  My old friend Jimmy Smith (The Best!), the Manager at River Roads Sales and Leasing, said the new equipment is very tight still. I wonder when this will loosen. This seems to be a case of good demand, and slow production.

Car Sales and availability are growing with used cars dropping in value.  New cars soon will once again be more plentiful, thus rebates and incentives are starting to show up again, or at worst just around the corner.

Last thought on how things work business-wise, seems like everyone likes to complain about the cost or price of everything, except for the business they are in. 

Have a great month, AL