Worn down by the constant struggle to find—and retain—qualified truck drivers, managers at one transportation and logistics company are placing their bets on plain old-fashioned cash. Beginning this month, Schneider National will offer drivers the largest compensation package in the company's 70-year history.
The pay package, which compensates drivers and owner-operators for both driving and nondriving time, raises mileage rates for both groups. Company drivers will pocket an extra $4,000 a year on average, which is double the increase Schneider granted in 2004. They will also be eligible for new short-haul premiums and detention pay to compensate them for time lost to customer delays. Owner-operators will see linehaul rates increase to $0.90 per mile under the new agreement, which also includes fuel surcharges and savings opportunities on business expenses.
But Schneider managers aren't focusing solely on cash incentives to keep drivers happy. They're also addressing some of the quality-of-life problems that plague truck drivers. The company says it has devised programs to provide both company drivers and owner-operators with more predictable work schedules. Schneider has also increased its investment in technologies that provide trailer tracking and street-level directions.
Company officials say they developed the programs based on drivers' feedback. "This investment lets our more than 15,000 drivers and owner-operators know that we've listened carefully to their concerns and are making investments that will impact their paychecks, careers and quality of life both at home and on the road," says Scott Arves, president of transportation for Schneider National Inc.