More than three-quarters of carriers in a recent survey say they plan to raise pay this year, nearly half by 2 to 5 percent, while another fourth plan to raise pay by less than 2 percent, according to Transport Capital Partners’ Third Quarter 2012 Business Expectations Survey.
“The pressure on driver wages is evident in the survey and our visits with carriers,” says Richard Mikes, TCP partner and survey leader, pointing to turnover figures reported by the American Trucking Associations. The annualized turnover rate for linehaul truckload fleets of all sizes surged in the second quarter, with turnover at large fleets breaking the 100% barrier for the first time in more than four years.
One of the reasons why carriers may be expecting to raise driver pay is due to the reported number of unseated trucks. While this varies by carrier size, overall 75 percent of carriers reported unseated trucks in the survey. Due to the high number of unseated trucks, drivers are a controlling input in equipment plans.
“Without better pay … carriers will not be able to increase capacity for shippers,” emphasizes Steven Dutro, TCP partner.