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Date: 01/12/22 12:06
Reality
Author: callum_out

So let's look at the last couple days worth of news. Yesterday US Steel announces their $3B investment in a new steel plant plant in Arkansas,
Today's news is that there's still over 100 ships off LA/LB, Wal-Mart is getting their Christmas tree shipments, some freight rates are up oer 50%
year over year, Class 8 truck orders are down 50%, and hundreds of dock workers are off on Covid leave, Oh, and CP wants KCS. It doesn't
take much deduction to figure out all that cheap Asian steel isn't worth a damn if you one, can't get it there and two, the transport costs make
it not so cheap anymore, USX figured that out. And the rest of all that isn't going to resolve itself any time soon which would mean that some
level of US production increase is inevitable. But it also means that container shipments most likely are going to decrease to some sustainable
level and all those container trains might start looking like manifest trains again. You are not going to be able to simply automate road switch
jobs, or even yard jobs, it's pretty clear that on the current path rails are cutting off their nose to spite their face! This is becoming just like
everything else in the world of "progress":, the pendulum swings way one way before coming back and I think we're close to the end of one
of those swings. They may be able to one man road freights but more production means more people involved. Just a thought.

Out 



Date: 01/12/22 12:17
Re: Reality
Author: MILW-E78

The days of "Easy" money for them may be coming to an abrupt end. God forbid they would have to go back to carload business and customer service.
Can't make Billions without those 16000 ft unit trains everywhere. And with the abhorrent lack of any true customer service in the current business model, guess that brings up the word they sure don't like. Regulation 


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/22 12:26 by MILW-E78.



Date: 01/12/22 12:43
Re: Reality
Author: KM-ML4000

No one talks about the restrictions that the Ports in California have on trucks entering the Ports, which must be compliant with the latest CA emmissions requirements. How many independents does this eliminate from the pool of trucks able to service the ports?



Date: 01/12/22 12:59
Re: Reality
Author: AaronJ

KM-ML4000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No one talks about the restrictions that the Ports
> in California have on trucks entering the Ports,
> which must be compliant with the latest CA
> emmissions requirements. How many independents
> does this eliminate from the pool of trucks able
> to service the ports?

While not irrelevant, that requirement doesn't explain nearly identical issues at most ports across North America from Los Angeles to Savannah GA. Houston for example back in November had all available space occupied by towers of containers that were stranded there due lack of available equipment that have nothing to do with CA emissions requirements. Instead, the supply chain infrastructure hobbled by the pandemic and a shortage of space and workers, was not prepared for the return of consumer cargo.



Date: 01/12/22 13:09
Re: Reality
Author: callum_out

And again, fees and fines aren't the real solution even in California. Real capacity is a long way from theoretical capacity
and the there always will be issues getting in and out of the port. You look at Maresk buying large properties adjacent to
a port in China for warehouse space, here you'd have to buy San Pedro to replicate that. Big port next to really big city
is always going to have transport logistics problems.

Out 



Date: 01/12/22 13:58
Re: Reality
Author: SPBrooklyn

The issue is not a lack of trucks for the ports. A rediculous amount of the problem is people not working efficiently and not caring that they are a critical part of infrastructure. Not to mention management that can run a place efficiently and be reasonable. T



Date: 01/12/22 14:13
Re: Reality
Author: MILW-E78

Railroad management knows they are are a major part of critical infrastructure in this country. But I feel when the **** begins to hit the fan, and true leadership and experience is required, they look around the room and can find no one. Everyone has retired, quit, or left the industry. And they took the big book that showed them how it's supposed to be done right with them. Great people and ideas are very hard to find.
 



Date: 01/12/22 16:35
Re: Reality
Author: TAW

MILW-E78 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Railroad management knows they are are a major
> part of critical infrastructure in this country.
> But I feel when the **** begins to hit the fan,
> and true leadership and experience is required,
> they look around the room

...to see how the stock price can be increased without actually accomplishing anything.

TAW



Date: 01/12/22 16:54
Re: Reality
Author: jst3751

KM-ML4000 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No one talks about the restrictions that the Ports
> in California have on trucks entering the Ports,
> which must be compliant with the latest CA
> emmissions requirements. How many independents
> does this eliminate from the pool of trucks able
> to service the ports?

Has nothing to do with the current situations being seen.



Date: 01/12/22 17:09
Re: Reality
Author: goneon66

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> MILW-E78 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Railroad management knows they are are a major
> > part of critical infrastructure in this
> country.
> > But I feel when the **** begins to hit the fan,
> > and true leadership and experience is required,
> > they look around the room
>
> ...to see how the stock price can be increased
> without actually accomplishing anything.
>
> TAW

like in 2000?

increased stock prices with companies showing no earnings........

66



Date: 01/13/22 05:42
Re: Reality
Author: AndyBrown

Funny to see this post this morning as I was just laying in bed thinking about the Great Pumpkin's new attendance policy, and wondering what the RRs are going to do when there's no costs left to cut.  Start tearing out track?

Wondering where it's gonna end...

Andy



Date: 01/13/22 07:53
Re: Reality
Author: Lackawanna484

In many industries, labor now has the upper hand as far as pay and benefits are concerned.  It's already hit the trucking industry, and is hitting candidates for the rail industry.

Things like this usually have a way of resolving themselves over time. Labor will gravitate to where it is respected and paid well, capital will seek the highest return on its investment, including that in labor staffing.

Many observers are watching to see how the program at Amazon, Walmart, etc will work out.  These companies, and others, are paying for college or tech school in addition to above market pay rates. They want employees to leave after 5-6 years. They don't want lifetime, work to 65 etc . They get motivated people on the front end ("they pay for college"), and they get them out the door in a few years.  They don't get entrenched, angry employees who are likely to seek union representation, proper grievance, contract guarantees, etc.



Date: 01/13/22 10:23
Re: Reality
Author: tomstp

You did not mention that those companies have low retirement expense and health care costs are lower on the young.  It is not that they are benevolent.



Date: 01/13/22 11:12
Re: Reality
Author: SOO6617

The ports of LA/LB announced potential big fines, but they have not enacted them. Every Monday they keep posponing them. Want a better understanding of what's going on with the ports look at Sal Mercagliano's channel on that video website.



Date: 01/13/22 15:28
Re: Reality
Author: NCA1022

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In many industries, labor now has the upper hand
> as far as pay and benefits are concerned.  It's
> already hit the trucking industry, and is hitting
> candidates for the rail industry.
>
> Things like this usually have a way of resolving
> themselves over time. Labor will gravitate to
> where it is respected and paid well, capital will
> seek the highest return on its investment,
> including that in labor staffing.
>
> Many observers are watching to see how the program
> at Amazon, Walmart, etc will work out.  These
> companies, and others, are paying for college or
> tech school in addition to above market pay rates.
> They want employees to leave after 5-6 years. They
> don't want lifetime, work to 65 etc . They get
> motivated people on the front end ("they pay for
> college"), and they get them out the door in a few
> years.  They don't get entrenched, angry
> employees who are likely to seek union
> representation, proper grievance, contract
> guarantees, etc.

The law of big numbers is quickly catching up to Amazon and the others.   They have grown so big so fast while simultaneously burning thru the available pool of labor candidates for these jobs, that soon there won't be any workers left who haven't already worked for them and quit.  When that starts to happen, thigs will get interesting very fast.

Isnt' it interesting that when the there's a shortage of jobs and workers are poorly paid and treated, the companies all shrug their shoulders and say "Its just the markeplace and the rules of capitalism."  Now that the shoe is on the other foot and labor has regained some leverage (which hasn't been true for at least 20 years), companies are all crying like whiny 12 year olds about how unfair it is that they can't find workers.  Improve the working conditions, pay and benefits and you'll have all the woirkers you need.   I bet if a restaurant offered their wait staff $50 a year and benefits they's have all the applicants they'd ever want.  Of course $50K + benefits is likley too high, but somewhere between what they are paying now and $50K is the right answer.

Also don't forget that working conditions are a huge part of the equation.   It doesn't matter if the pay is good if your working conditions are terrible due to understaffing and being required to do wht 2 or 3 people used to do.  Don't believe me?  Just read the threads on Trainorders where rail workers describe their awful working conditions.

Companies have totally forgotten the concept that their workers are my customers and my workers are their customers.   It's better for everyone when all jobs pay a liveable wage.  Walmart workers that can still qualify for receiving Federal benefits is simply not right.  Why should us taxpayers subsidize ridiculously low pay when the company can clearly afford to pay better (maybe at the expense of the senior executive bonus program...).

- Norm

 



Date: 01/13/22 18:18
Re: Reality
Author: pbouzide

NCA1022 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In many industries, labor now has the upper
> hand
> > as far as pay and benefits are concerned. 
> It's
> > already hit the trucking industry, and is
> hitting
> > candidates for the rail industry.
> >
> > Things like this usually have a way of
> resolving
> > themselves over time. Labor will gravitate to
> > where it is respected and paid well, capital
> will
> > seek the highest return on its investment,
> > including that in labor staffing.
> >
> > Many observers are watching to see how the
> program
> > at Amazon, Walmart, etc will work out.  These
> > companies, and others, are paying for college
> or
> > tech school in addition to above market pay
> rates.
> > They want employees to leave after 5-6 years.
> They
> > don't want lifetime, work to 65 etc . They get
> > motivated people on the front end ("they pay
> for
> > college"), and they get them out the door in a
> few
> > years.  They don't get entrenched, angry
> > employees who are likely to seek union
> > representation, proper grievance, contract
> > guarantees, etc.
>
> The law of big numbers is quickly catching up to
> Amazon and the others.   They have grown so big
> so fast while simultaneously burning thru the
> available pool of labor candidates for these jobs,
> that soon there won't be any workers left who
> haven't already worked for them and quit.  When
> that starts to happen, thigs will get interesting
> very fast.
>
> Isnt' it interesting that when the there's a
> shortage of jobs and workers are poorly paid and
> treated, the companies all shrug their shoulders
> and say "Its just the markeplace and the rules of
> capitalism."  Now that the shoe is on the other
> foot and labor has regained some leverage (which
> hasn't been true for at least 20 years), companies
> are all crying like whiny 12 year olds about how
> unfair it is that they can't find workers. 
> Improve the working conditions, pay and benefits
> and you'll have all the woirkers you need.   I
> bet if a restaurant offered their wait staff $50 a
> year and benefits they's have all the applicants
> they'd ever want.  Of course $50K + benefits is
> likley too high, but somewhere between what they
> are paying now and $50K is the right answer.
>
> Also don't forget that working conditions are a
> huge part of the equation.   It doesn't matter
> if the pay is good if your working conditions are
> terrible due to understaffing and being required
> to do wht 2 or 3 people used to do.  Don't
> believe me?  Just read the threads on Trainorders
> where rail workers describe their awful working
> conditions.
>
> Companies have totally forgotten the concept that
> their workers are my customers and my workers are
> their customers.   It's better for everyone when
> all jobs pay a liveable wage.  Walmart workers
> that can still qualify for receiving Federal
> benefits is simply not right.  Why should us
> taxpayers subsidize ridiculously low pay when the
> company can clearly afford to pay better (maybe at
> the expense of the senior executive bonus
> program...).
>
> - Norm
>
>  

Geez Norm, that sounds much too "liberal". We need.moar "race to the bottom" with an autoritarian police state government with a big stick hovering over the squalor and saying "or else!"



Date: 01/13/22 19:25
Re: Reality
Author: Lackawanna484

Here in S Florida, Amazon is already paying $22 for weekend, etc shifts. Lots of takers, some even last a while.  Again, it's not benevolence, it's necessity. And those robot sorters working alongside humans aren't there for amusement.

Years ago, getting a job on the railroad was a hand-me-down, from father to son in many cases. A good job that paid well, had union benefits, tough working conditions until you had some age, but lifetime employment if you don't screw up.  Now, look at all the threads about rails warning their kids to go someplace else. And, people walking out of hiring meetings when the conditions are discussed, and expectations put on the table re: weed, holidays, etc.

As I said above, the truckers are already past that crisis point, the rails are green lighting themselves toward it...



Date: 01/13/22 20:10
Re: Reality
Author: wyeth

pbouzide Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Geez Norm, that sounds much too "liberal". We
> need.moar "race to the bottom" with an
> autoritarian police state government with a big
> stick hovering over the squalor and saying "or
> else!"

I have a very bad feeling that this is coming.



Date: 01/13/22 20:15
Re: Reality
Author: wyeth

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here in S Florida, Amazon is already paying $22
> for weekend, etc shifts. Lots of takers, some even
> last a while.  Again, it's not benevolence, it's
> necessity. And those robot sorters working
> alongside humans aren't there for amusement.
>
> Years ago, getting a job on the railroad was a
> hand-me-down, from father to son in many cases. A
> good job that paid well, had union benefits, tough
> working conditions until you had some age, but
> lifetime employment if you don't screw up.  Now,
> look at all the threads about rails warning their
> kids to go someplace else. And, people walking out
> of hiring meetings when the conditions are
> discussed, and expectations put on the table re:
> weed, holidays, etc.
>
> As I said above, the truckers are already past
> that crisis point, the rails are green lighting
> themselves toward it...

Which, in my opinion, is exactly what the railroads are wanting to do.  Then they can go to the government, whom they have influence over due to their generous "political contributions", and tell the lawmakers about their crisis and that no one will come to work for them, so that they need to rapidly roll out one man crews and eventually autonomous operated trains.



Date: 01/14/22 07:44
Re: Reality
Author: Fr8engineer

wyeth Wrote:


> Which, in my opinion, is exactly what the
> railroads are wanting to do.  Then they can go to
> the government, whom they have influence over due
> to their generous "political contributions", and
> tell the lawmakers about their crisis and that no
> one will come to work for them, so that they need
> to rapidly roll out one man crews and eventually
> autonomous operated trains.

That's what I contend as well.



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