Al’s Corner – July 2022    

Happy Fourth of July!

We have reached the halfway point of this seemly fast-moving year. Time again for another monthly note. 

This month has one big event, July 19th, Horse Hooky at Fairmount Park, now called Fan Duel.

Live racing starts at 1 pm, so get there around 1230 so you can get those valuable picks in. This day has been a tradition for the St. Louis Transportation Club that we have enjoyed for years. Besides “live” and “off track” betting they have $1 thin hotdogs, $1.50 draft beer, $1 soda, popcorn, pretzels, and $3 pizza slices which I think are very good.  Good luck and always take the Grey Horse or identify the trainer that is dressed the best as they think they will be getting their picture taken for winning after the race!!  Some (I am not who some are!) say take the horse with more than 2 spotted feet.

Monthly Topic #1—I am asked regularly how does the diesel fuel pricing being so high affect our business and trucking in general?

As for our company, most of our customers have a Fuel Surcharge Table (FSC) that we follow that goes up and down traditionally over the year. It does change weekly from the Department of Energy. It is calculated based on National fuel prices and is paid mostly to us by the mile. An example of this is .67 per mile. So, if you have a load that goes 1,000 miles the FSC is $671 which we pass through to the carrier either as a base rate plus fuel, or a “all in” rate that has both. Fuel for us is not a profit center. 

I asked Brad Reinhardt his thoughts on the high price of fuel and thinks it he can cause shippers to not ship some of their products because the high price eats into their planned margin. So, there you have it.

Monthly Topic #2- Another Mass shooting this time in Highland Park, IL north of Chicago, on July 4th.  There are so many every few months it is hard to keep track of them.  Most use high powered guns, with most of the shooters having some grudge, mental issues, and are normally in the 18-25 range in age.  The one near Buffalo was racially motivated, others are the result of bullying, while others assault innocent children and church goers. The one on the 4th was at a parade with a high percentage of the crowd I believe being Jewish. 

What is the ultimate answer, or should I put it this way, solutions that we can all agree on?  The killing of innocent people, with many being young grade and high schoolers must stop!  It’s nuts and out of control! Without getting into some political argument, I think a first step is for everyone to at least agree WE HAVE A PROBLEM!  One of my thoughts on it is (since I am kind of paranoid to begin with) is we all need to start paying attention more.  Like observing someone entering a building with a weapon.  How did that guy get on the top of a building with a large gun? I used to be a greeter at a very large church on Sundays, which I did for 5 years, 48 out 52 weeks. When I was doing that, I was very aware of who was coming into the church.  I felt like I was the first line of defense, or something plus being a friendly face.  There were a few times I followed a person in that something seemed a little off about them.  Like wearing a long trench coat in July. Strange mumbling and such. A few seemed to be very distracted. I looked for weapons too. Luckily, nothing ever came of it.  The church now has a big security presence.  In Maryville, IL at that time, they had a terrible pastor shooting during a service. I had been watching and observing before that happened. I remember talking to our incredible pastor Shane and telling him I had been watching out for the church the whole time. He said, “I figured you were.”  We also had a man come in on a Saturday evening service who was very aggressive, wanting money now, so I stepped in between the pastor and fellow attendees and told him it was time to leave.  He did, luckily for me.  As I get older, I am not sure how well I could protect anyone, including myself, but I was willing to do whatever it took, no matter the cost!  I had a plan. So, one of my answers is we all need to take notice of the people around you that are talking crazy stuff.  Get in the way, don’t ignore it, take them seriously, have a plan.  Tell someone, perhaps it will save some lives, even your own. 

So, that is it for another note, hope you have a great July!  Al