Yet another company raises driver wages… Yep it’s not Swift…

Melton Announces New Pay Increase 

   

We are very pleased to announce another well-deserved increase in driver compensation! Effective immediately,  all Company Drivers and Owner Operators will receive a minimum of 2¢ per mile increase in compensation, and some experience categories will receive up to 4¢ per mile more.   

Our minimum pay is now 37¢ per mile, and our top drivers are making 50¢ per mile, before Tarp Pay, Stop Pay, Canada and HazMat Pay, as well as OD Pay, and more! Call now to speak with a recruiter, and ask for full details.

 

Bob Peterson – President Melton Truck Lines 

  Bob's Signature

 

 

Everyone else is paying…

More TL carriers rolling out pay increases
Sean Kilcarr Aug 13, 2014

U.S. Xpress plans to boost base solo OTR pay by 13%
Following hard on the heels of Swift Transportation’s driver pay raise announcement in late July, two other major TL carriers are now introducing pay increases of their own.

U.S. Xpress Enterprises plans to boost its base mileage pay for over the road (OTR) solo, non-dedicated truck drivers by an average of 13% effective Aug. 25 while also eliminating its “sliding pay scale” for all OTR solo drivers as well.

Eric Fuller, U.S. Xpress’ COO, noted that for many of the carrier’s drivers, the “sliding pay scale” made it difficult to calculate base pay from week to week. Thus the company is activating what it calls a “simpler” pay structure where all OTR solo drivers will earn the same base mileage pay regardless of their length of haul.

Con-way Truckload, a subsidiary of Con-way Inc., is planning to boost its per-mile pay for new-hire experienced drivers to a total of 42.5 cents per mile starting Sept. 7 and beef up its incentive bonus structure in the bargain as well – an effort aimed at increasing productivity while rewarding drivers for their loyalty, said Joseph Dagnese, the carrier’s president.

On top of that, with respect to layover pay, he noted the carrier is increasing driver compensation from $60 to $75 per day.

“Our drivers are the company’s most important asset,” Dagnese explained. “After listening to their feedback and evaluating current market trends, this is the right time to increase our mileage rate and add new compensation programs which reward driver loyalty, productivity and safe driving performance.”

Based on reaching thresholds for continuous mileage/continuous employment, Con-way Truckload’s enhanced incentive program provides the opportunity to gain additional earnings via an annual bonus of between 1.5 cents and 3 cents per mile on miles driven over the previous 12 months from their anniversary date.

Dagnese added that the mileage pay increase also would apply to Con-way Truckload’s independent contractors as well. “Our independent contractors are a key part of our strategy for providing consistent, high quality capacity and service,” he said.

Jonathan Starks, director of transportation analysis for FTR Transportation Intelligence, noted in the firm’s most recent Trucking Conditions Index report that truck freight continues to show steady increases and, with the tight truck capacity situation unlikely to loosen up any time soon, expects to see both spot and contract rates continue to rise into the fall shipping season.

Yet finding and keeping drivers still remains a tough task for the trucking industry. Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) trade group, noted recently that the industry has in the range of 30,000 to 35,000 unfilled truck driver jobs – a shortage only expected to worsen.

“As the industry starts to haul more because demand goes up, we’ll need to add more drivers – nearly 100,000 annually over the next decade – in order to keep pace,” he said.

Max Fuller, CEO for U.S. Xpress, added in a statement that nearly every facet of the country depends upon some type of goods or services that were delivered by a professional truck driver.

He pointed as well to recent ATA data that stated approximately 70% of the freight shipped annually in the United States was delivered by a truck driver.

“This means more than three million professional truck drivers are transporting more than 9.2 billion tons of freight by driving approximately three million heavy-duty, Class 8 trucks,” Fuller said.

“Drivers are the ones who ensure that our store shelves are not empty, manufacturing does not grind to a halt and our economy does not stall,” he stressed. “With more goods and services being shipped by trucks, we need to expand the workforce so our industry has better trained, more qualified drivers that can take better care of our customers.”

Swift stocks fall 2nd Quarter 2014, Swift promises more money for drivers

Swift Transportation promises ‘enhanced’ driver pay as shortage crimps growth

William B. Cassidy, Senior Editor | Jul 25, 2014 3:09PM EDT

Year-over-year percentage changes in revenue, excluding fuel surcharges, for Swift’s truckload and dedicated divisions are following divergent paths.

Full-size chart

Swift Transportation, the largest U.S. truckload operator, got even bigger in the second quarter, but potential growth was restrained, the company said, by a “challenging driver market.”

“Our driver turnover and unseated truck count were higher than anticipated,” Swift said in a letter to shareholders. In reaction, the company sold trucks to offset the impact of idle equipment.

“We believe the best investment we can make at this time, for all our stakeholders, is in our drivers,” the company said. “Our goal is to clear the path for our drivers by helping them overcome challenges, eliminate wait times and take home more money. We believe we can accomplish this through improved productivity and enhanced pay packages.”

Swift’s difficulty finding drivers in the second quarter signals the shortage of available drivers will be the leading check on over-the-road truckload capacity this peak shipping season. The company is one of the largest employers in trucking, with about 14,700 drivers and 19,600 employees at the end of 2013. Swift also has contracts with more than 5,000 owner-operators.

The so-called driver shortage is a roadblock to expansion, limiting incremental growth in truck capacity, and a prime reason truck rates are rising at a faster pace in 2014. The number of heavy truck or tractor-trailer drivers increased 1.9 percent in 2013, after rising 3.2 percent in 2012 and 2.9 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of drivers fell 13.4 percent from 2007 to 2010 and has risen only 8.1 percent since.

Increasingly, truckload carriers are caught in a Catch 22-like situation: They need more drivers to increase revenue, but the cost of those drivers is eating into profit margins and limiting their ability to hire more drivers. The likely solution will entail even higher truckload rates.

In its shareholder letter, Swift said rate increases will likely hit the 4 to 5 percent range this fall. Higher pricing supported a 3.7 percent increase in revenue per loaded mile, excluding fuel surcharges, in the second quarter, and pricing momentum is growing, the company said.

Even so, Swift is bracing for cost headwinds in the second half of 2014 as it tests and implements several driver initiatives. “The investment in our drivers will be more immediate and the benefits are expected to be derived over time,” the truckload carrier said. “We believe by making these investments now, we can deliver on our goals for 2015 and beyond.”

Overall, Swift’s total revenue rose 4.5 percent year-over-year to $1.08 billion, and 6.7 percent from the first quarter. But two out of four divisions reported lower revenue than a year ago, and three reported lower profits, including an operating loss at Swift’s intermodal division. The company’s net profit declined 19.4 percent from a year ago to $40.2 million as operating expenses rose 5.7 percent. Salaries, wages and benefit costs rose 6.3 percent.

Swift’s truckload revenue — which accounts for about 53 percent of the $3 billion company’s total revenue — actually shrank 2 percent year-over-year in the quarter to $459.1 million, excluding fuel surcharges, partly because Swift shifted some truckload resources to its dedicated division. Truckload profit, however, rose 7.7 percent to $69.6 million.

The dedicated business grew 22.1 percent, with revenue sans surcharges rising 23.1 percent in the quarter to $183.3 million. “We have seen a dramatic increase in demand for our dedicated service offering over the past six to nine months, which has led to strong growth, but the associated start-up costs have placed short-term pressure on margins,” Swift said. Also, although more drivers are attracted to dedicated work, which is often short-haul in distance, allowing for regular home time, dedicated driver pay per mile is higher, Swift said.

The dedicated division’s adjusted operating profit dropped 13 percent to $21.1 million.

Lack of drivers also crimped revenue at Swift’s Central Refrigerated segment, which saw revenue excluding surcharges drop 1.3 percent to $86 million and its operating profit drop 35.3 percent to $3.7 million. The refrigerated business, acquired by Swift last August, also fielded fewer trucks, and had higher costs due to ongoing systems integration with Swift.

Swift increased intermodal revenue, excluding surcharges, 11.9 percent to $80.8 million, driven by a 10.9 percent increase in loads. But the intermodal unit lost $495,000, compared with a $788,000 operating profit a year ago. The division is expected to get back on track as Swift expands its fleet of domestic intermodal containers, adding 500 containers in the late third quarter. “These new containers are expected to drive further revenue growth and improve margins as we drive efficiency in our operating assets and better absorb our fixed costs,” Swift said.

Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com and follow him on Twitter: @wbcassidy_joc.

Securities fraud against Swift

Swift Transportation – National Securities Law Firm Encourages Shareholders With Significant Losses To Contact Law Firm

July 28, 2014: 12:06 PM ET

NEW YORK, July 28, 2014/PRNewswire/ — Tripp Levy PLLC, a leading national securities law firm, announces that it is investigating potential securities fraud claims against Swift Transportation Co. (NYSE: SWFT) (“Swift” or the “Company”) resulting from allegations that Swift may have made false and misleading disclosures concerning its business and financial condition.

On July 25, 2014, Swift tumbled the most since its 2010 initial public offering, after the Company forecast third-quarter financial results below that of analysts’ estimates due to a “shortage” of drivers.  Swift said that it was “constrained” by a challenging driver market in the second quarter and that turnover was higher than anticipated.

Following this announcement, the stock fell over $4.60 per share to $21.20 per share on July 25, 2014. 

Tripp Levy PLLC is looking at filing a potential action that seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of Swift publicly traded securities during the period January 27, 2014 through and including July 25, 2014 (the “Class Period”).  

If you purchased shares of Swift during the Class Period and suffered significant losses on your investment, and wish to discuss this matter at no cost or expense, please contact Tripp Levy PLLC via e-mail at contact@tripplevy.com or call us toll free at 1-800-511-7037 or visit our website at www.tripplevy.com.

Tripp Levy PLLC is a leading national securities and shareholder rights law firm with offices across the country representing both individual and institutional shareholders and, along with its affiliates, has recovered billions of dollars for shareholders.  Tripp Levy PLLC is affiliated with Milberg LLP. Attorney advertising.  Prior results do not indicate a similar outcome

Email: contact@tripplevy.com 

Toll free: 1-800-511-7037

International:  602.241.2841

www.tripplevy.com

SOURCE Tripp Levy PLLC