Citing a multimillion investment in its driver workforce, C.R. England announced that it has provided its over-the-road truck drivers with pay increases as much as 25%. The increases went into effect Dec. 1.
“We are very excited about this solo pay increase and are pleased to offer it at a time when professional truck drivers have been at the center of relief efforts related to the COVID crisis,” CEO Chad England said in a statement. “On average, we expect up to a 25% pay increase for eligible drivers and this is one of the biggest we’ve ever seen in our industry.”
The company said the increase is the largest single pay increase in the 100-year history of C.R. England. Chad England added that the company wants to “reward [drivers] for their hard work and dedication.”
“This is a multimillion-dollar investment in our drivers,” he said. “When you combine this new pay increase with our robust miles and freight availability, we truly believe we have put together a world-class compensation package.”
Over-the-road solo drivers received an average 15.5% increase in base pay as of Dec. 1. C.R. England also rolled out a new bonus program, the Safe & On-Time Every Time Bonus program, on Nov. 1 that offers incentives for safe driving and “superior service performance.” Combined, the pay increase and bonus program provide up to a 25% pay increase.
C.R. England said it continues to evaluate and adjust pay for drivers within its dedicated and intermodal divisions.
The pay increase is the latest in a string of pay increases announced over the past few months for carriers that continue to battle tight capacity and not enough drivers to fill seats. Earlier this week, Covenant announced its largest pay increase in company history, boosting line-haul team drivers an average of 9 cents per mile, with the top rate for those with more than a year of experience seeing a 16 cents-per-mile increase.
KLLM Transport Services also announced “one of the largest” pay increases in its history. The Jackson, Mississippi-based carrier said over-the-road and regional independent contractors would see more than a 9% increase in base pay. Fuel surcharges will now cover all paid miles, both loaded and empty. The new plan will push average pay per compensated mile to more than $1.05 for over-the-road contractors and to more than $1.38 for regional contractors.
Both over-the-road and regional company drivers for KLLM received earning potential increases of more than 8%.
Stevens Transport boosted pay as much as 14% for its over-the-road drivers, with starting pay now as much as 54 cents per mile, based on experience. First-year drivers could earn as much as $60,000 a year, the company said. Drivers in the dedicated division can receive up to 62 cents per mile depending on the division and experience level. Regional drivers earn up to 55 cents per mile under the new pay package and driving teams in the expedited division can start out as high as 56 cents per mile.
And in early November, Heartland Express announced an average pay increase of 6%, with some drivers receiving as much as a 14% boost in pay.
Schneider was among the first to kick off the latest round of pay increases, announcing in September it was boosting pay. A company spokesperson told FreightWaves experienced team drivers would earn 4 cents per mile more and those with less than a year of experience seeing a 2 cents-per-mile increase. The company’s website said the pay increases would mean drivers could earn up to 61 cents per mile.