Carriers expect small increases in driver pay, TCP survey finds
Such small increases in driver compensation will probably only exacerbate driver turnover and not help in attracting new entrants who will stay in the industry long term, suggests TCP. (TCP graphic)
The Trucker News Services
Carriers anticipate driver wages to increase in the next twelve months, but only incrementally, according to results from Transport Capital Partners’ Second Quarter 2012 Business Expectations.
Given the current shortage of qualified drivers and the inability to increase wages during the Great Recession, 93 percent of the carriers are expecting wages will increase, but 71 percent expect the increases will be less than 5 percent, the survey says.
Such small increases in driver compensation will probably only exacerbate driver turnover and not help in attracting new entrants who will stay in the industry long term, suggests TCP.
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"Carriers are concerned about unseated trucks and the lack of applicants for a variety of reasons,” said Lana Batts, TCP partner. “Extended long-term unemployment encourages looking for a new job only as these benefits run out. Additionally, the increase in construction is resulting in former and current drivers moving back to that industry.”
While driver wages seem to be holding steady, fuel prices have decreased slightly over the last month. Carriers continue, however, to try to improve fuel economy because even the best fuel non-dedicated truckload surcharges do not cover all the fuel price increases, the report noted.
The most popular strategies include reducing individual speed limits, purchasing improved aerodynamics, and training drivers to improve MPG.
"Diesel pricing is still high and fuel surcharges are viewed as inadequate by the industry,” said TCP Partner Richard Mikes, who has been following trends in the natural gas industry. “However, diesel may not be the fuel of the future as truck makers and carriers see the recently found century-plus reserves of natural gas as an opportunity."
TCP uses this quarterly survey along with partner conversations with carriers to provide a meaningful insight into future industry expectations. Mikes and Batts both have long-term experience in the transportation industry advising carriers on operation strategy as well mergers and acquisitions. Carriers desiring to participate in future surveys may apply here.
TCP provides advisory services related to transportation mergers and acquisitions, capital sourcing and operations and strategy with regional offices in Florida, Iowa, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at email@example.com.
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