Driver pay has climbed as rising demand for freight transportation services raises competition for increasingly scarce drivers, according to data gathered from more than 100,000 drivers in the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) latest Driver Compensation study.
“Fleets are reacting to an increasingly tight market for drivers by boosting pay, improving benefit packages, and offering other enticements to recruit and retain safe and experienced drivers,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.
The median salary for a truckload driver working a national, irregular route was more than $53,000—a $7,000 increase (15 percent) from ATA’s last survey, which covered annual pay for 2013. Private fleet drivers saw their pay rise to more than $86,000 from $73,000, a gain of nearly 18 percent.
In addition to rising pay, fleets are offering generous signing bonuses and benefit packages to attract and keep drivers.
“And once drivers are in the door, fleets are offering benefits such as paid leave, health insurance, and 401(k)s to keep them,” Costello adds.