The Roemer Report June 1988
- Leased Operator Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Bobtail Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Occupational Accident (Occ Acc) Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Cargo Semi Truck Insurance Quote Form
- Commercial Auto Liability Quotes
- Physical Damage Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Owner Operator New Authority Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Non-Trucking Liability Semi Truck Insurance Quotes
- Contingent Liability / Contingent Cargo
- Motor Carrier Liability
- Primary Auto Liability
Satellite Monitoring Makes its Trucking Debut
The disappearing driver with the wayward truck could become history, thanks to a new idea called satellite monitoring. Already a proven system for pinpointing positions of ships and aircraft, satellite surveillance is being used for trucks carrying ammunition. It gives dispatchers the position of any truck within a quarter mile of accuracy, no matter where it is. First uses in providing information of a truck's immediate whereabouts maybe for companies carrying hazardous materials. Somewhere down the road, it could also become a routine tracking system for any long-haul company. The system employs a "black box" on the vehicle which be amiss location data to a satellite for relay back to central computer. The system can also include two-way communication which permits dispatchers to make immediate reschedulings while a truck is en route. Though drivers view the new monitoring system as unwelcome Big Brother intrusion, it could become routine in the21st Century. The main current draw back is the high monthly cost of about $150 per vehicle.That's likely to come down as more firms offer satellite monitoring services and truck operators learn to use the system to boost revenues. For many trucks, one unscheduled pickup per year could easily pay for the service.
HIGHER SPEED LIMIT/FATALITY LINKAGE NOT CERTAIN: Though most states have opted to raise their Interstate speed limits to 65 mph, a federal study stops short of linking this to a 20% rise in fatalities. The safety impact study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that the sharp rise was in the first nine months. of 1987. While this partly coincided with the shift to the higher limits, the time period was considered too short to pinpoint accident causes accurately. DOT Secretary James Burnley even stated that there's no evidence of a trend "one way or another." It's significant that more than a third of the first 28 states to raise limits had no early increase in highway deaths.NHTSA did hint, however, that more future data might lead to specific conclusions about the impact of the higher limit. There's also little evidence that the high limit causes more truck accidents on Interstates. While a near liar study called speed the dominant cause of serious truck accidents, most of these occurred on two lane roads. By contrast, trucks on rural Interstates have a low accident rate.Now thatallbutninestates have gone to higher limits, look for more comprehensive data in thefuture.
THE STEEL INDUSTRY'S COMEBACK: Surprising its doomsayers of a few years back, the American steel industry continues to gain new strength. Steel equities are attractive again on Wall Street as steel company earnings steadily improve following the hard-luck years of the early 1980s. Bethlehem, for example, recent made a public offering of 10 million shares at $19 each after reporting a dramatic boost in first-quarter earnings. The industry as a whole is operating a nearly 96% of capacity. Certain products such as steel plate are in short supply and selling at premium prices. With further earnings gains likely this year, many observers are wondering how long the new steel boom can last. The revival actually has a strong foundation built on good operating performance. American steelmakers are admittedly getting some help from the voluntary restraint agreements (VRAs) that limit imports of foreign steel. What's more significant isthat cost cutting and modernization joined up with the cheaper dollar to make domestic firms more cost-efficient. Even before transportation costs are added,U.S. steelmakers now have lower costs than either Japan or West Germany. Though South Korea and Brazil still have a cost advantage in basic steelmaking, continuous casting technology can keep U.S. producers on a profitable course.
"PAPERLESS" WAREHOUSE ISAMAZING COST CUTTER: The dramatic "paperless" revolution has come to the warehouse industry, bringing cost reductions of stunning proportions. Utilizing both computers and radio-assisted communications, it's transforming the way warehouse stocks are identified, stored, selected, and shipped. With cost savings of 40% or more, "paperless" may be thenext frontier of productivity gains for the entire warehousing/transportation industry.The typical system allows warehouse personnel to communicate over radio-frequency systems linked with computers. Alternate systems are also available with fixed or "hard" wiring. Warehouse personnel use bar-code scanning devices to pick up orders with almost faultless accuracy. Along with eliminating paperwork, the system does away with the problems of human error in misreading or mislabeling orders. The computerassisted system can also provide instant readings of stock levels and can issue automatic reorderinginstructions.It even helps route lift trucks for greater productivity. Though an electronic warehousing system can easily run into six figures, its huge savings and improved accuracy make it a compelling investment. Look for it to become a standard warehousefeature.
BEHIND A WORK FORCE IN TRANSITION: Has the American work force begun to look a little different to you lately? Different than it did, say, 20 years ago? If it has, congratulations. You're aware of some of the most fundamental changes affecting businesses today. John Elkins, president of The Naisbitt Group, a Washington, D.C.-based forecasting firm, lists three ways we are reinventing our work force:(1) As the number of 16- to 24-year-olds drops, so does the number of workers willing to take lowpaying service jobs.Companies that depend on cheap labor are finding themselves in a sellers' market. How to cope? Many are raising wages and hiring senior citizens. Others bus their employees to and from work or offer a finder's fee to those who recruit new hands. (2) More than half of all women-and fully80% of those aged 20 to 30 now work.How is this impacting business? With more dual career couples, employees are less willing to relocate.Also, women are becoming more vocal concerning day care and comparable worth. Finally, sincecorporationsaremoredependentonpart-time workers,theyare starting to provide partial benefits and better wages. (3) Most recent college graduates now target careers in small or mid-sized firms, not Fortune 500 companies. An increasing number also report entrepreneurial goals. Big organizations are responding to this trend by creating "minicorporations"-- autonomous work groups that pursue highly innovative, specializedprojects.
THE LABOR SQUEEZE TIGHTENS: Several emerging forces are slowly creating a labor scarcity that could last to the year 2000. This coming work force shortage is driven by the following: (1) Unemployment.Our unemployment rate is now below 6%. Severe overall worker shortages probably won't be triggered until the unemployment rate falls below 4%. Indeed, it already has for a number of key job sectors. The unemployment rate for managers, executives, administrators, and professionals is hovering around 2.5%. In well over one-third of the states and in 31 major metropolitan areas, unemployment rates are now below 4%.(2) The Birth Dearth.The 78 million people born between1946 and 1964 are having half as many children as their parents. A smaller youth population will force a long term tightening of the labor market. The number of 16- to 24-year olds is expected to drop by almost two million by 1995. (3) The Education Job Mismatch.A lack of adequately educated employees will further affect the supply of qualified workers. The Hudson Institute projects that 30% of all new jobs created between now and the year 2000 will require four or more years of college. This represents a 36% increase in jobs demanding the equivalent of a college education or more.
THE PRESSURE TO HOLD DOWN WAGES: Here's an intriguing economic phenomenon: Unemployment is down-way down, in fact, with many jobs remaining unfilled-yet there's little or no pressure to raise wages. Why not? One reason is that unions have lost their clout. Indeed, nonunion workers are consistently winning higher pay hikes than their unionized counterparts, a trend that began five years ago. In 1987, for example, nonunion wages rose by 3.6%; union wages, 2.8%. Another cause of the moderate pressure on wages is increased productivity. Fewer workers are needed to keep business humming-especially heavy industry. And fiercer competition, both at home and abroad, is also forcingcompanies tohold costsdown.But some employers are finding themselves obliged to raise wages-and/or rely on novel incentives-in order to attract and keep good workers. Many low-paying service sector jobs go begging. Besides promising better salaries, labor-starved employers often negotiate flexible schedules or offer more vacation time. Still others are turning to older workers, or informal networking in ethnic communities.
Subscribe to the Monthly Roemer Report
Enter Email Address Below