Pay for truckers is soaring

Jun 1, 2021, Kate Duffy

Truckers are getting paid more, but it’s not enough to solve the driver shortage.

• Truckers are getting bigger paychecks, but it’s not solving the shortage of drivers.
• A truck driver at Roehl Transport told CNN his pay had jumped by $30,000 in the past few years.
• Drivers are using the pay raises to spend less time on the road and more time at home, he said.

The massive shortage of truck drivers in the US is boosting drivers’ pay — but it isn’t enough to fill job vacancies in the industry.

The coronavirus pandemic triggered a surge in online shopping as people went outside less. Companies needed more drivers and so bumped up pay to attract them, CNN reported on Saturday.

Daniel Walton, a 47-year-old truck driver with Roehl Transport, told CNN that his salary had increased to about $70,000 from $40,000 a few years ago.

Walton said he knew drivers who were using the pay raises to cut their driving time and spend more time at home. He said he drives four weeks out of five and helps train new drivers.

Roehl said in April that it would increase truckers’ pay for the second time this year. In total, it said, its salaries would be about $4,000 to $6,000 higher.

“We have to offer that addition pay to be competitive,” Tim Norlin, Roehl’s vice president of driver employment, told CNN.

In April, the trucking firm CR England announced its largest driver-pay raise in its history and its third pay hike in three years. It said its pay had increased by more than 50% since 2018.

Driver scarcity and staggering e-commerce sales have made trucking expensive. Insider reported in September that data indicated retailers were spending about 30% more than they were in 2019 to transport their goods via truck.

“Our customers have been very understanding that it’s necessary to raise rates,” Norlin told CNN. “I could literally hire 500 to 1,000 more drivers — we have the business offerings from customers to keep them busy.”

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