Driver pay increases likely to be carriers’ biggest ‘cost pressure’ in 2018

Speaking as part of the analysis firm’s “State of Freight” series of webinars, FTR Transportation Intelligence Vice President of Research Avery Vise outlined a series of marketplace conditions that point to market pressure to increase driver wages. The spot freight market began to turn toward the positive in terms of rate growth about a year ago, Vise noted, and contract rates paid by shippers to carriers “then began to creep higher as well.” As rates have heated further into the first week of this year with a variety of records broken in transaction data tracked by load boards, “overall trucking conditions are improving,” he says. Evidence of some ballooning sign-on bonuses have been seen, and rising driver wages Vise dubbed perhaps the most significant “cost pressure” for motor carriers, given continued expectation of growth in pay. With the potential of mandated ELDs to push longtime drivers from the business into other sectors and compound the situation as a backdrop, this is the “strongest labor market in two decades, at least in terms of unemployment,” Vise said. “Trades that..... Read more