As China prepares to invade Taiwan (Formosa) and the fat boy sings in North Korea, cheering the launch of a nuclear-tipped missile from a submarine, the ports in California can’t unload ships fast enough or move most goods into the rest of the nation.
Our Transportation Secretary – enjoying fraternity leave in lieu of maternity effort – has announced the problem is just growing demand from consumers.
Republicans claim the disaster is caused by Americans not taking jobs after they found other ways to feed their families. This is the usual analysis of why things are wrong by sloths repelled by actual work, preaching wage slavery is better for you, not them.
The Green New Deal fanatics, meanwhile have no solution, except that we should endure shortages, because that will mean fewer factories and result in a cleaner climate.
That last group – many of today’s neuter-gender Homeric Harpies – brought us this Greek tragedy in the Golden State by insisting that their perfect vision must be enforced.
Because they don’t like gas and oil, and want all vehicles to be electric, the eco-idiots created a series of regulations in California that first took effect last year, when the economy was slow and impact minimal.
As rules tightened more, in January we saw a calamity unfold in California ports.
Business was coming back to normal, which meant that about 90% of all containers were arriving here from China, et al, and 10% exported. Suddenly, there wasn’t enough drayage (hauling of containers) and the ports were clogged.
Free market types blamed the truckers and unions, as though the National Guard should shoot anyone who didn’t put it into gear. The Dems’ solution was to ask the Transportation Secretary to explain that bad news is good news in our elite-directed Utopia.
Where did all the trucks go?
Most of the independent operators, who were missing, went to sensible states like Texas and Florida. Some of the big operators with hundreds of trucks did the same.
They were escaping California, because they couldn’t afford to stay.
Look at this regulation for trucks in California’:
TRUCK & BUS REGULATION
Vehicles with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. must upgrade (engines) as shown in the table.
Pre-2000: January 1, 2020
2000-2004: January 1, 2021
2005 -2007: January 1, 2022
2007-2009: January 1, 2023
This year, if your truck was built before 2004, California ruled that you could not register it (the fine would be $1,000 a day) unless you replaced the engine or could modify it to meet current emission regulations. Cost: $10,000 to $20,000 to modify – if even possible – and up to $40,000 to replace.a diesel truck engine.
Next year, the cutoff will be trucks built before 2007, and then before 2010 in 2023, according to the cutesy-named California Air Resources Board (CARB).
If you are making the average profit of $60,000 a year as an independent driver/operator, this regulation forces you to leave the state.
Large firms with much higher trucking rates (so they can pay for new engines) replaced many of the independents, but there were still not enough vehicles to get the job done.
While the rules for trucking in the state are onerous, the regulations for operating in and around the California ports are worse, according to this regulation:
Diesel-fueled trucks transporting cargo destined for or coming from California’s ports and intermodal rail yards must be registered in the statewide Drayage Truck Registry prior to entry. Drayage fleets must comply with requirements by operating only vehicles with 2007 MY engines or newer.
Truck engines last up to 750,000 miles and some vehicles are on the road for 30 years or more if properly maintained. New filters already have been installed on pre-2010 trucks to reduce emissions, but that is hardly enough for the climate scurriers.
More woes. The cost of diesel fuel is up more than 40%, forcing some trucking firms to slow down until prices drop. Locked into contracts, many are running vehicles at a higher cost than than they are paid. The more goods they haul, the more money they lose.
The state has also decided to regulate when drivers drive or sleep:
Require for long-haul and regional drivers a period of 10 consecutive hours off duty within each 24-hour cycle, and two hours of additional time off in each 14-hour work period within each 24-hour cycle. . . require weekends, or their functional equivalent, to include at a minimum a rest period that includes two consecutive periods from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Fifth, require the use of electronic . . . recorders (EOBRs) in CMVs used by drivers in long-haul and regional operations.
Using an ankle bracelet to report work or sleep might also be a good way to track our erstwhile Transportation Secretary. That might accelerate his recovery from the birth pangs of adoption in absentia, and bring new enthusuasm to the White House circular firing squad.