TCP survey shows carriers expect small increases in driver wages
Jul 11, 2012 4:28 PM
Results from Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) Second Quarter 2012 Business Expectations survey show that carriers anticipate driver wages to increase in the next 12 months, but only incrementally. Given the current shortage of qualified drivers and the inability to increase wages during the Great Recession, 93% of carriers are expecting higher wages, but 71% expect the increases will be under 5%.
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. "Carriers are concerned about unseated trucks and the lack of applicants for a variety of reasons,” says Lana Batts, TCP partner. “Extended long-term un-employment 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 most popular strategies include reducing individual speed limits, purchasing improved aerodynamics, and training drivers to improve fuel economy.
"Diesel pricing is still high, and fuel surcharges are viewed as inadequate by the industry,” says 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.”
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