- Desperate transportation and delivery companies are raising pay above national averages, tendering attendance reward bonuses, and beefing up their fleets with fresh rigs in order to lure new talent, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
- While freight demand is expected to drive up contract prices, earnings may remain temporarily flat until they catch up with higher wages and other costs.
- Average truck driver pay rose 4.1% in 2016 to reach a peak of $52,629, according to jobs website Glassdoor. The industry is leading in overall wage growth.
As we enter peak season, demand for qualified drivers roils the industry.
The shortage of qualified truck and delivery drivers is well known, so much so that even the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is pitching in to help by simplifying the process of obtaining a Commercial Drivers License. Other efforts include providing comfortable cabs and dispensing with uniforms, all while employing data algorithms to sense driver job satisfaction levels in order to maintain necessary staff levels.
The trucking industry seems to be in the midst of a turnaround, with misclassified drivers lobbing lawsuits at employers while those eligible for full employment increasingly bend the rules to their liking. Though no updates on the 90% turnaround rate for the industry as a whole currently exist, with the perks involved, plus the growing value of logistics to companies, employers are likely doing all they can to retain good drivers.
What remains uncertain is the pending effect of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate this December. Ideally, with wages rising and perks becoming the new norm, drivers will find compliance is worth the effort. But if the opposite proves true, the long-feared capacity crunch may affect supply chains nationwide.