Stability and change: a look at long-distance motor carriage of Florida produce and ornamentals over the past twenty years

Richard Beilock, James Del Ciello, Priscilla Medina


Florida is almost entirely dependent upon trucking to deliver its produce and ornamentals to markets throughout North America, as well as for deliveries to out-of-state ports for exports. Over the past twenty years there have been several developments which have and continue to impact upon motor carriage. Among these are deregulation, advances in communications technologies, general tightening of labor markets and aging of the workforce, speed limit changes, and rail mergers and advances in the ability of railroads to transport and monitor refrigerated shipments. To understand better this segment of the motor carrier industry, results are presented from a 2001-02 survey of over 1,600 drivers of long-distance refrigerated trucks and compared with similar surveys taken during the 1980s. The overall picture is one of stability, even in areas, such as driver supply, where there have been claims of radical changes. However, there are indications, such as changes in owner-operator leasing practices and increased concentration among ornamentals haulers, which suggest that significant transformations are occurring.


deregulation; driver supply; refrigerated transport; truck leasing

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283