Driver Availability: This is challenging for us really for one reason: we want the best. This is one of our biggest selling points, we have great drivers. When hiring, we only want to hire great drivers. I think this is an issue with most industries when a company is looking for great talent. For us, it is not just about getting behind a wheel and driving, but are you somebody who represents Lori's Trucking in a way we want presented to the public? Our interviews deal much less with actual driving, and more on getting to know the person and their philosophy on life and work. Do we trust you to drive around with a Lori's Trucking logo on the side of your vehicle?
Freight Pricing: This is fairly challenging. We are a medium sized trucking company, which bring on many challenges in this area. We are big enough to where we have some overhead with non-driving employees, office space, and normal office items. We are also too small to really compete in some of the bigger trucking accounts that are in our area of expertise. With this in mind, it really takes working with our customers to develop relationships that benefit both parties. With us, our customers really appreciate our customer service. This is something that is of GREAT importance for our company. This alone allows a little more flexibility when it comes to rates with our customers.
Regulation: As we have grown over the past 2 years, this has become more of an issue. We ALWAYS want to do the right thing when it comes to regulation and doing what is safe. We have lost out on work and some profit due to making sure we do what is safe and within regulations. We now have essentially a full-time compliance director who goes through all our safety and regulation material. The cost and time is quite significant, really effecting our bottom line and somewhat postponing some of our growth ideas. This is also an issue that if it is dealt with in the proper way and taken seriously, can bring about great increase in the near future. I encourage all small, medium, and large trucking companies to really focus on this aspect o their business.
Political Climate in Washington: This topic is of GREAT debate. I don't consider myself an expert by any means, so I will somewhat stay away from this. I will say that taxes, stronger regulations, and the such has really made it difficult to continue in our journey of growth. If a company grows in this kind of environment, they are definitely doing things the right way.
That is just a little bit of my input on some of the specific challenges the trucking industry is facing. Ultimately, all industries go through challenges. As a leader, I have learned to not focus on challenges, but to focus on myself and objects that are within my control. That is not saying to be ignorant of what is going on, but the focus should be on how to make yourself and your company the best it can be without focusing on other distractions that keep you from fulfilling your purposes. What purposes do you and your company have? My advice is to focus on these, and not on challenges outside your control.