The massive shortage of truck drivers in the US is boosting drivers’ pay — but it isn’t enough to fill job vacancies in the industry.
The coronavirus pandemic triggered more online shoppers as people went outside less. Companies needed more drivers and so bumped up pay to attract them.
Many drivers are moving among trucking companies for better salaries.
Some say they knew drivers who were using the pay raises to cut their driving time and spend more time at home. Driving four weeks out of five to help train new drivers.
Some drivers still quit quickly because of stress or homesickness.
Roehl said in April that it would increase truckers’ pay for the second time this year. In total, it said, its salaries would be about $4,000 to $6,000 higher.
Demand for truck capacity remains high but the lack of qualified drivers to meet the need is even greater. Elevated consumer spending has resulted in a peaklike freight market for more than a year now, and the reasons why driver employment has been lagging are well known.
Many of the drivers who left the industry at the pandemic’s onset over fears of contracting the virus have yet to return. Low driver school enrollments due to COVID protocols and some 85,000 operators with failed drug tests (according to Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse data) are just some of the obstacles the fleets face.
The new rates represent increases of 20% to 30% and potentially more than 40% for drivers attaining their hazmat certification. He described the level of the increase as “a historic high and a breaking point in the industry.”
Drivers in the company’s two other terminals, Detroit and Kansas City, Kansas will also see wage increases.
This was the carrier’s second increase in the past year. The average pay for its drivers has increased by 10 cents per mile in that time.
Many companies have said additional driver benefits would be announced “by the end of the year.”