July 20, 2023

Weak freight market has had varied impacts on driver wage trends


This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Enterprise Fleet Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How understanding wage data can help enterprise fleets stay competitive.

DETAILS: Two years ago, companies were dishing out driver wage increases like candy on Halloween. Leah Shaver, the president of the National Transportation Institute, which gathers huge amounts of data on driver compensation, talks about the trends she is seeing in driver pay in these tougher times.


“We call it the driver roller coaster because as freight adjusts we typically see an adjustment in what’s happening with pay.” 

“Wage gains in the last few years have been really impactful in the fixed rate, per mile or per hour. Recently they have been mostly appreciated by folks who train and do things like hazmat. I think the pickings are going to be pretty exclusive to incentives, like for safety, productivity, fuel and tenure-based bonuses.”

“We’re losing 5,000 drivers a month to the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse. That will be a long-term industry issue.”

“Company drivers are not feeling the burn. Most of them said they are feeling the upside, especially if they get to take advantage of some company incentives. The independent owner-operators are feeling it.”


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