Archive for April, 2018

Are salaries for driver jobs increasing?

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

Wages may be increasing for those with driver jobs.

The American Trucking Associations released data from its latest Driver Compensation Study, showing driver pay has climbed as rising demand for freight transportation services has increased competition for increasingly scarce drivers.

“This latest survey, which includes data from more than 100,000 drivers, shows that 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,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

According to this most recent study, the median salary for a truckload driver working a national, irregular route was over $53,000 – a $7,000 increase from ATA’s last survey, which covered annual pay for 2013, or an increase of 15%. A private fleet driver saw their pay rise to more than $86,000 from $73,000 or a gain of nearly 18%.

In addition to rising pay, Costello said fleets were offering generous signing bonuses and benefit packages to attract and keep drivers.

“Our survey told us that carriers are offering thousands of dollars in bonuses to attract new drivers,” Costello said. “And once drivers are in the door, fleets are offering benefits like paid leave, health insurance and 401(k)s to keep them.

“This data demonstrates that fleets are reacting to concerns about the driver shortage by raising pay and working to make the job more attractive,” he said. “I expect that trend to continue as demand for trucking services increases as our economy grows.”

The freight index and driver jobs

Sunday, April 8th, 2018

The Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI), which is based on the amount of freight carried by those with driver jobs, fell 0.4 percent in January from December, falling after reaching an all-time high in December, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS).

The January 2018 index level (132.3) was 39.7 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

The level of for-hire freight shipments in January measured by the Freight TSI (132.3) was the second highest all-time level, 0.4 percent below the all-time high of 132.8 one month earlier in December 2017.

The December 2017 index was revised to 132.8 from 132.0 in last month’s release.  Monthly numbers for March through November 2017 were revised up slightly.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in for-hire freight shipments by mode of transportation in tons and ton-miles, which are combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight. The TSI is seasonally-adjusted to remove regular seasons from month-to-month comparisons.

Despite the 0.4 percent decline from the all-time high of 132.8 in December, the January Freight TSI remained at its second highest level of 132.3. The decline followed three successive monthly increases during which the index rose 2.8 percent from September through January. For the year from January 2017, the index rose 6.3 percent. The January index was 39.7 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession.

New waiver to affect driver jobs

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

New guidance is being enacted that may affect driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced additional steps to address the unique needs of the country’s agriculture industries and provided further guidance to assist in the effective implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule without impeding commerce or safety.

The Agency is announcing an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture related transportation. Additionally, during this time period, FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance.

FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.

“We continue to see strong compliance rates across the country that improve weekly, but we are mindful of the unique work our agriculture community does and will use the following 90 days to ensure we publish more helpful guidance that all operators will benefit from,” said FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez.

Since December 2017, roadside compliance with the hours-of-service record-keeping requirements, including the ELD rule, has been steadily increasing, with roadside compliance reaching a high of 96% in the most recent available data. There are over 330 separate self-certified devices listed on the registration list.

Beginning April 1, 2018 full enforcement of the ELD rule begins. Carriers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that do not have an ELD when required will be placed out-of-service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) criteria.  At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD.  If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action.