An American Trucking Association study released on August 10, states that truck driver wages increased by 18% compared to 2019 average wages.
Median compensation in 2021 stood at $69,687. This does not include benefits, but it does include bonuses.
“In the truckload space, compensation was up 18% from 2019,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said during a conference call, “but it was up nearly 11% over 2020 levels. So it just shows you that the market got very tight for drivers. Median compensation in for-hire truckload was nearly $70,000 last year. That includes bonuses, but does not include benefits.”
This year, 60% of fleets have said they plan on increasing wages again.
On average, 90% of fleets increased wages by 10.9%, which surprised Costello since he was expecting more significant numbers.
Why is this happening?
For the less-than-truckload divers, survey recipients reported a pay increase last year. Across the entire sector, the average increase was 2.6%.
The median wage for over-the-road LTL drivers was about $73,000, while those who drive on local routes were paid an estimated median amount of $55,000. The median salary for a driver in a private fleet was $85,000.
Costello claims that this wage increase stems from a diver shortage and the increased demand for goods.
“There’s no one reason for the driver shortage, which means there’s no one solution,” Costello said. “Anytime you have a situation where demand far outstrips supply, what happens to price, it goes up.
Independent contractors performing non-drayage activities earned about $235,000 median income last year. The drayage sector stands at a median income of $164,000.
The survey also indicated that 96% of fleets offered a referral bonus for new drivers, these bonuses increased by about 15% which bumps the bonus to $1,150.
82% of LTL carriers offer a referral bonus of a median of $875. While only 54% of fleets offer an additional sign-on bonus.
If you want a slice of the pie that is the ever-growing trucking industry, give us a call for all your equipment financing questions. These increases in pay are not expected to stop any time soon due to the ongoing truck driver shortage and the increase in demand for goods.
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