Think you’re done raising driver pay? Think again, expert says

In a vacuum, the trucking industry will continue to experience some of the most drastic changes to the pay scale that has ever been seen. In 2018 alone, the cumulative increase for drivers has increased by nearly 12% which would make it the highest year on record for pay increases. Even with the pay increases, the number of new truckers being enticed by increased pay is only 6%, a stunning number considering 85% of all firms surveyed said it hadn’t.

While raising pay does register as an important factor in employee retention, the industry still experiences other issues that many other blue-collar opportunities do not — those being extenuating factors, time at home, and lackluster equipment. Along with those factors, new opportunities are cutting into the prospective trucker pool by offering comparable or higher wages without dealing with the negative factors. In other industries, these factors can be mitigated however trucking has no such way to offset the adverse effects.

Along with extenuating factors, legislation and rule changes are making it harder for specific prospective drivers even to get a trucking job. New changes in drug testing are making it harder for drivers who test positive for opioids to keep their job or also get hired. While these changes are not adverse, they do negatively impact the number of drivers available and hireable by certain trucking companies.

In 2019, four trends are expected to take precedence over the others according to Gordon Klemp, president of the National Transportation Institute.

  • Guaranteed pay – More carriers will offer a minimum weekly pay. Packages currently being offered vary widely from $700 to $1,200 per week depending on region of the country, equipment, endorsements and nature of the freight.
  • Transition pay – Carriers seek to ease new drivers into their system without them being hurt financially by offering increased cents per-mile or a defined payment for a certain period.
  • High engagement activities – Carriers are trying to find driver “touch points” to build and maintain stronger bonds with their drivers, Klemp says. This includes but is not limited to carrier apps, improved communications and special activities for drivers.
  • Increased carrier and shipper collaboration to eliminate inefficiencies – Driver wait time remains the single largest inefficiency in the supply chain, Klemp says. Cutting wasted time at the docks would increase driver productivity and thus maximize the limited supply of drivers.

Expect RigPark to follow these trends and continue to offer cutting-edge solutions to trucking’s most pressing issue: safe, predictable parking.

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