Expediters Are Drawn To a Challenge

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By Bob & Linda Caffee

When there are natural disasters, trucks line up to run loads into the affected area. Some even run loads on their own dime to help people or animals survive.

While the money is often good, the challenge is even greater. Drivers work to navigate in an area where the water is trying to crest a bridge or go over the top of the road, all to deliver a load safe and sound. The way into the affected area is not always the way out as the water might have now gone across the bridge or roadway. It is just as tricky to get out as it was to get in.

The news on TV is not a good source for knowledge of the affected area as over and over again we see one small scene of utter devastation. TV news that does not show the worst of the worst is boring to watch and so the non-devastated areas are not shown: the roads that are fine, the neighborhoods that are fine, and the areas with no wind or water damage.

Do your own research: look at the path of the storm, talk to the shipper or receiver, look at state maps that show open and closed roads, then make your own educated decision. The best way to stay safe is to look out your windshield – if something does not look right to you, look it over closely and watch the oncoming traffic to decide. Backing out of a bad situation or turning around is not the coward’s way out. It is the sign of a professional making a decision based on their own comfort level.

Expediting is often a challenge when we see where we have to pick up or deliver, or the building we have to enter to get our freight. The challenge of not knowing what we are picking up, where or when we are going, and how far the load will go is part of the excitement of being an expediter.

When we are with other expediters, we compare some of the funny or frightening places we have picked up or delivered and it keeps all of us laughing. Expediters usually use a different language when talking amongst themselves as our talk usually is around places, not the heavy weight of a load. Having to use a lift gate to pick up or deliver a load takes us to a lot of places where we look at each other and say, “I don’t think a truck belongs back here.”

Another saying is often heard said as well: “I am sure glad we are a team.” Being a team makes some places easier to get into or to get the freight loaded, and using two sets of eyes to make sure we do not clip anything with the truck or to assist with loading.

After being an expediter for the past fourteen years, the excitement is still inside of us to see what will happen with the next load.

One place we do not like unexpected excitement or a challenge is with our Freightliner Cascadia which is the core of our business. Our truck has to start each time the key is turned over and deliver us safely to our destination with the freight riding safe and sound. During all four seasons, we depend on our truck to keep us safe and make us money.

We have not been disappointed.