We had decided not to commit to a dedicated run for Christmas this year because the normal spot market rates had jumped through the roof and the contract rates had not gone up enough.
That plan lasted a whole week.
We had made a delivery in Auburn WA and had booked a good paying load from Portland OR to Los Angeles and then a great paying load from LA to Dallas. We drove 160 miles empty to Portland and got loaded about 1 PM. When they brought the BOL, they brought TWO BOL’s. I asked what the extra bill was for and they said “For the second stop”. Uhhhh nope. They had loaded the wrong load on us. They then unloaded the trailer and then said our load would not be ready for at least 5 or 6 hours. That did not work, we would not be able to make our pick up to Dallas which would ruin our whole weekend. Anne jumped on the computer to try to find us a replacement load to LA. She called on a load to Santa Barbara and it turned out to be a contract mail run for Christmas. It was also a large broker we have worked for a lot and they were excited Anne had called. The load did not pick up until 3 AM so Anne said “no, that would not help us and you are not paying enough” This is a very condensed version of how the 20 minute conversation went.
Broker: “what if I paid you $3 a mile”
Anne: “then I would be stuck in SB”
B: “what if I made it round trip”
A: “then we would be stuck in Portland”
B: “what if I just kept you going round trip”
A: “now we are interested”
The problem is that we were quite a ways above the contact market rate and so they were looking to replace us and we knew it. We made three runs and they did not have us on a fourth and said they were looking for a load for us. A couple of hours later with no response other than that they would understand if we found something else, we started calling on other loads. We found another broker with mail loads from Portland to Anaheim. The rate was not quite as good but still great and very steady. 1004 miles each way picking up at 4AM and delivering at 3AM with no break and no dead head. The only downside was a trip a day over Siskiyou Pass on the Oregon-California border. The weather can get very nasty over that pass.
This is where the “crazy lucky” part happened. We have made 16 trips over the pass with clear weather for the most part and a little rain a couple of nights. Here is a picture from a couple of nights ago.
This morning in the warm sunshine, on our last trip South before we head home for Christmas, we get this notice….
We deliver in Anaheim tonight and pick up a mail run to Cincinnati and then home by noon on the 21st. I have tickets to see the new Star Wars movie that afternoon at 4. Then a hot buttered rum and Christmas music while we decorate the tree and play with the grandkids. Looking forward to lots of family and 5 weeks off.
Merry Christmas everyone.