Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Empty runs?

Over at Rittenhouse, there's a link to a report by Philly Inquirer scribe Seth Borenstein that Halliburton had trucks make round-trip empty runs in Iraq, and billed the Army. (That's you and me, via our taxes). The Army and Halliburtonís trucking company deny round-trip empty trips were made, however. In the real trucking industry here in the US, the emphasis is on making as few empty moves as possible. Often such moves are not billable to customers, so dispatchers work hard on logistical planning to insure the absolute minimum empty moves by trucks. Companies that attempted to bill clients for round-trip empties are also known as "out of business". The drivers don't sound like they appreciate the empty moves:
Thor, a driver who quit KBR and who got his nickname for using a hammer to fight off a knife-wielding Iraqi trying to climb into the cab of his truck, said his doctor recently told him he might lose the use of his right eye after a December attack. Iraqis shattered his windshield with gunfire. Glass got in his eye, and he broke two bones in his shoulder, he said.

His truck was empty at the time.

"I thought, 'What good is this?' " said Thor, who asked not to be identified further.
For those who would argue we should leave such practices be...I must ask, why do you hate capitalism?


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