The rest of my trip out to my first stop in Phoenix, Arizona was uneventful.
My cargo this trip was 32,000 pounds of various meat products, with all but 3,600 pounds going to my first stop, a company I will decline to mention by name. I checked in three hours before my appointment time and waited around until I was assigned a door.
The unloading and breakdown of the product took an inordinate amount of time, not unusual at a food warehouse. Eventually, I was given the paperwork and I went back out to my truck. Even though the parking spaces were narrow, I only needed to move forward eight or ten feet to swing my trailer doors since the spaces next to me were empty. I did this, and as I brought around the first door I noticed that the trailer was completely empty. About 3,600 pounds of product (and a different type of product that this first customer didn’t order as well) was gone.
I went back inside to chat up the dock manager and he looked at the paperwork and consulted his computer. They got exactly 586 boxes of product that they ordered, he insisted, no more and no less. By this time the product was long gone from the dock area itself, having been sorted into the various pallets the warehouse required.
Several hours of hilarity ensued, as I called our folks, they called the Cargill folks, no one could get a hold of the dock manager by phone, etc. “They must have left it off of the load in Nebraska,” I was told by the dock people.
The only thing is, this particular shipper video tapes every load that leaves their facility so they had proof that what they said was on the truck was on the truck.
By an amazing coincidence, after a long wait one of the lumper types points at two pallets stacked in an out-of-the-way location and asks if those were the ones I was looking for. The labels matched those printed on the bills for my last stop and they quickly hustled the pallets on to the back of my truck.
Lying thieving bastards.
By this time it was mid evening and I still had a long six-hour drive into Los Angeles for an 0500 appointment the following morning. I had to take two power naps along the way to keep me going, but eventually I arrived ahead of schedule. I was feeling good enough I saved $50 by taking the pallets off of the trailer myself instead of leaving it to the lumpers. Thank goodness I didn’t have to restack anything.