US truckers get pay boost to spur recruitment to meet shortfall

US truck drivers are receiving higher salaries as carriers nationwide strive to recruit and retain drivers, according to a survey by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) of 100,000 drivers for its Drive Compensation study.

ATA chief economist Bob Costello said the study "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."

The study revealed that the median salary for a truckload driver working a national, irregular route was at least US$53,000, a $7,000 increase since ATA's last study, which covered annual pay for 2013, while private fleet drivers on average saw their pay rise from $73,000 to over $86,000, American Shipper reported.

Trucking companies are also providing substantive signing bonuses to lure drivers to their operations. "Once drivers are in the door, fleets are offering benefits like paid leave, health insurance and 401(k)s to keep them," Mr Costello said.

"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 added. "I expect that trend to continue as demand for trucking services increases as our economy grows."

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