Despite changes in hours of service rules last year impacting carrier costs and productivity, increases in rates and improved accessorial charges have yet to materialize for many fleets.
According to Transport Capital Partners’ fourth quarter survey results, carriers, carriers are looking to increased productivity as a means of raising their bottom lines, but the HoS regulations appear to have significantly impacted that avenue.
Seventy-eight percent of carriers reported those new rules having some impact on productivity. Forty-one percent expect the impact will be less than 5%. But an almost equal number (37%) say the new regulations will have more than a 5% impact. Amazingly, almost six months after the changes were implemented, 16% of carriers still have not determined the full extent of the impact.
With a loss in productivity (i.e., miles) under the new HOS regulations, it would seem to follow that driver wages would also fall. However, capacity issues and the need to find more drivers will inevitably push carriers to raise wages. But in this environment of static rates, do carriers really believe they can raise driver wages?
Seventy-two percent of carriers expect to raise wages, albeit modestly (from 1-5%). The expectations are not even across the board: 81% of larger carriers think wages will increase 1-5% compared to only 50% of smaller carriers. Thirty-five percent of smaller carriers think wages will increase 6-10% compared with only 14% of larger carriers.
“We surmise the pressure of unseated trucks and higher turnover levels may be driving some carriers to higher pay increases,” notes Steven Dutro, TCP Partner.