We are all too familiar with the headlines and phrases media companies use to drive readers to their articles showing another trucking company is closing. “Drivers are going to be let go, the industry is in shambles,” “Mass Layoffs,” “Driver’s stranded,” and that all together frightening “Trucking Bloodbath.” These titles and headline phrases drive traffic to the articles, increasing page views and resulting ad money, but what is the true cost?
All the publicity around these shutdowns, closures and layoffs do nothing for the industry. It shutters companies that may be on the brink of closing but might have been able to recover if it wasn’t for the negative publicity when someone leaked an internal memo or spoke to a reporter effectively scaring away potential investors who could have saved the company.
The negative reporting also has a massive impact in attracting new drivers and entrepreneurs to the field. While the industry is apparently suffering from a critical “driver shortage” to some, how are we supposed to attract new driver’s when we are only telling the negative stories in the logistics space.” New entrepreneurs are hesitant to enter the workforce because we as the media have no issue stating the facts, 80% of new trucking companies close in the first year. We do not help to make the industry appealing, we only look to muddle the waters.
We at Freight Broker Live know this all too well and are just as guilty as the others. When you look at our most recent articles you will find articles about mass layoffs, driver shootings, companies closing and idiot’s behind the wheel. We covered the Amazon layoffs, dubbing it the “Amazon Contractor Purge,” not only because that was what it is, but because it would attract readers. We report on trucking company shutdowns just as everyone else does in the media space, but it is time to draw the line at what is news and what is just meant to cause panic.
The recent coverage of Black Horse Carriers shows as much. A large carrier with dozens of terminals and thousands of drivers makes the decision to close just one terminal affecting 61 drivers causes mass panic. The articles covering the story have picked up on virtually every logistics media website and is all over social media for what reason? What is the end goal?
Companies like XPO have been closing terminals and laying off hundreds of workers for months as they make operational charges as customers pull out and new companies begin contracts, all with little coverage, but one trucking company loses a contract, has to move some people around and it is major news? Is this really a telling sign of what the future of trucking looks like?
We at Freight Broker Live are not sure what the future of trucking looks like. With the always tightening of regulations, low rates and the ever-increasing sky-high costs to operate it worries us a bit, however we have to do our part to try remember why we all started in the business. It was never really glamorous, at least to this author; it was and is just something that we love. Something we get. Something we are passionate about. Something we want to survive.
We, in the logistics media space, have to do our part to try and make trucking and logistics what we want it to be. If we want it to seem like a hopeless industry full of despair, heartache, job loss, companies closing and now what seems like an increasing occurrence of senseless violence continue on the same path, highlighting the bad will do that. If we want to see it prosper we need to start covering things positively. They are out there. The industry has new companies everyday that are entering the space looking to really change how things are done and people that come into the industry with a new sense of purpose and hope for the future. It’s time we put these companies on a pedestal and try and help them succeed, to shed a positive light on the positive things in the industry. Maybe doing so will have a positive effect on the bad.
Our hope is highlighting the good in the industry will cause the bad to at least be put in the background. It will never completely fade out, as this is trucking, but our goal as a media company in the logistics space is to help the industry and those who work in it succeed.