Apr 04, 2011
Driver pay will rise an average 3 to 5 cents a mile for company drivers and 4 to 6 cents for owner-operators over the next 12 months, predicted Gordon Klemp, president of the National Transportation Institute in a speech Monday, March 14, to Truckload Carriers Association members at TCA’s annual meeting in San Diego.
Klemp’s firm surveys medium- and large-sized fleets quarterly. In addition to the expected mileage pay hikes, he predicted several other employment trends over the next year, including:
-Driver pay more closely tied to performance measurements, including driver scores under the new federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability program
-More use of sign-on and referral bonuses, which virtually disappeared during the recession. Klemp said 40 to 70 percent of fleets now offer one or the other
-Expanded in-house driving training programs
-Expanded truck lease-purchase programs
Klemp said that these pay rate hikes are also tied to a shortage of drivers created by downsizing due to the recession, generous unemployment benefits for laid-off drivers, a high retirement rate, and a movement of many drivers into the underground economy.
“Supply’s not going to get better,” Klemp said. “Retention management, I think, is going to be huge.”
That will require not just good pay rates, but also finding new ways to recruit new drivers, train them well and do a better job of explaining their total compensation package to prevent them from mistakenly leaving a good carrier during periods of high turnover, Klemp said.