Three trucking companies belonging to the Top 250 in the U.S. have announced pay increases for their drivers.
American Central Transport, Cargo Transporters, and K&B Transportation join several trucking companies that will increase or have boosted their drivers’ salaries. Final earning reports for the year is a sharp contrast from the mid-year reports which mostly reported lower revenue. Almost all of the publicly traded carriers reported income and revenue increases, which also resulted in gains for their shareholders.
The driver pay increase was expected, in part, because of better management, efficient planning, and improved market conditions following the enforcement of the ELD mandate.
Starting February 28, American Central Transport (ranked 249th in the Top 250) increased the pay for both independent contractors and company drivers and implemented a new bonus incentive for company drivers.
ACT owner-operators would receive an additional two cents per mile while company drivers would get an across-the-board boost in pay. ACT drivers can also earn up to $500 in monthly bonus.
Drivers are entitled to $150 once they have driven 9,000 miles in a month, and the amount will increase for every additional 1,000 miles, up to a monthly payment of $500 for 12,000 miles.
Drivers and new truck driving school graduates of Cargo Transporters (ranked 174th) will enjoy an increase in pay starting April 1.
Drivers with one or more years of over-the-road experience will start at 46 cents per mile.
Driving school graduates will receive 25 cents per mile during their eight-week training, then move up to 44 cents per mile. Six months from the date they were hired, one-cent hike awaits them.
124th-ranked K&B Transportation will increase the starting pay for its company drivers on May 7.
The Nebraska-based company will grant a pay hike to over-the-road drivers in its Midwest and national operations by five cents to 50 cents per mile.
Drivers already with the company will also receive a 5-cent hike. The details are as follows:
- Six months to one year — from 46 cents per mile to 51 cents per mile.
- One year to two years — from 47 cents per mile to 52 cents per mile.
- Two years to five years — from 48 cents per mile to 53 cents per mile.
- Five years and more — from 49 or 50 cents per mile to 54 cents per mile.
K&B said new hires are guaranteed $1,250 as weekly minimum pay with 2,500 guaranteed miles. Also, there will be a bonus package reward system for drivers for clean inspections, referrals, and more.
Driver wage increase is expected
National Transportation Institute President Gordon Klemp also predicted that with freight demand climbing and contract rates on the rise, driver pay should go up in the months ahead.
Klemp, who is a driver pay analyst, said in a conference call with investors hosted by investment company Stifel that if carriers could secure rate increases in contracts with shippers, they could pass some of those gains to drivers.
Klemp, however, did not say how much the increase would be but noted that driver pay would climb with freight rates.
Meanwhile, the earnings reports released publicly by large fleets showed that carriers had a strong finish last year.
Last year saw freight demand soar, tightening of capacity, and rates reaching near record highs, which boosted revenue and income for the country’s largest carriers in 2017. Revenue and income rose for nearly all of the publicly traded carriers, which also resulted in gains in shareholder earnings.
The carriers’ reports differed because some reported their operating income while others cited net income.
Below are the earnings reports of the publicly traded large truckload carriers.
As the trucking industry continues to evolve and become more efficient with the help of latest technology, such as electronic logging devices, carriers and drivers are expected to increase their earnings.
Apart from increased revenue, modern-day ELDs also help carriers minimize their administrative burdens, increase productivity, and reduce operational cost.
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