U.S. Xpress C.E.O. Weighs In On Capacity Problems And Much More
TNN Featured News – U.S. Xpress C.E.O. Eric Fuller gave a wide-ranging interview to CNBC’s “Power Lunch” on Monday. The interview comes the same day the company announced an industry-first initiative called the “Full Ride” program which will offer college scholarships to drivers and family members of drivers. The Chattanooga-based trucking company, which employs more than 7,000 truck drivers across the country, said the new benefit will give its drivers the opportunity to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field of their choice at no cost through online courses offered by Ashford University. Fuller said it’s time for trucking companies and the industry to begin to “think outside of the box” on ways to attract new people into the business. He says he is hopeful the new initiative will be a success, but conceded “we’ll see how many drivers take us up on it.”
When addressing the causes of the capacity shortage Fuller attributed the problem in part to the fact that “trucking is one of the least desirable jobs out there.” He said that competition against other skilled labor jobs makes it difficult to attract new people into the industry, especially in a time when the unemployment rate is at less than 4%.
Times are not bad though. Far from it, as like most trucking companies, U.S. Xpress is passing on the effects of capacity constraints to its customers in the form of rate increases. Fuller said “we are seeing opportunity to raise rates where it’s necessary.” He says their customers “understand the driver situation” and that passing the costs on to the shippers is “not a problem.”
Hair Follicle Testing
Fuller was asked about the “opiod crisis” and if it was impacting the trucking industry. In response Fuller said, “It is an absolute issue,” which is why he said the company is “an advocate for hair follicle testing.” Many believe hair follicle testing has been proven to be a more accurate form of testing for drugs than an urinalysis. U.S. Xpress is a member carrier of The Alliance which has petitioned Congress to allow hair follicle testing as a DOT compliant form of testing in lieu of an urinalysis.
The full interview can be seen in the video above and is shared courtesy of CNBC Television.