Richard Ramis, AYS Dispatch, Inc.

I am not going to constantly remind everybody of the unique labor challenges we are all facing. You are all certainly aware. Besides, the real objective should be to solve the problem not to moan about it.

However, this problem has some very unique components. Firstly, let us all agree on one thing. It is temporary. Eventually the labor pool supply and demand ratio will tilt back to the employers favor. Secondly, it is interesting how different companies and networks are trying to deal with the labor imbalance.

I service many that under book and try keep their occupancy rates high. We have many that over book and do the farmout cha-cha to cover everything. Not that there is any perfect way to handle this phenomenon. It is sort of the ground transportation version of who is my favorite child.

Now, let’s get to basics. The basic answer is to harvest and hire fresh help. They are out there. The best kept secret in the business is the levels of qualification some employers have lowered to pull this off.

What I find to be the trickiest part of the equation is that technically with labor rates on the nationwide increase it is not uncommon for the employer to raise his survivors pay to balance the ship so they can train the new co-workers that society gifted with higher pay.

Every company has kept portions of their staff and they have in fact kept them at their previous pay level. Could be loyalty, comfort level, or something as simple as a good person seeing another good person through the storm.

The problem with the newbies is complex. We have had companies that have found good raw talent out of thin air. We also have a lot of new talent that just got off the gravy train looking for a new score. Perhaps a temporary gig or who knows what.

Unfortunately, I have also ran into many new drivers who, for the life of me, I can’t figure how they ever got a driver’s license.

And that is where we stand, we are at the crossroads. Many thought when the Cares Act expired the flood gates would open. They technically did, only in reverse. The mindset of the new crew intrigues me. I can’t quite figure them out.

Is it a new generation or a Trojan horse?

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