Truckload and logistics provider Celadon Group Inc. said today it will expand driver pay across its entire network, going beyond wage hikes that were originally just granted to drivers in its top 15 markets.
The pay packages will affect Indianapolis-based Celadon's 1,650 company drivers, along with 800 owner-operators who drive mostly for the company. Celadon also said it raised the pay of its local drivers.
The expanded program means dry van company drivers with six months of experience will earn between 36 cents and 38 cents a mile, depending on their region. The pay will max out at 50 cents per mile for drivers with 20 or more years' experience regardless of region, Celadon said.
For drivers of refrigerated equipment, the pay for new drivers will range from 39 to 41 cents per mile, depending on the region, and will max out at 53 cents for all drivers with 20-plus years of experience.
Previously, drivers made 34 cents per mile when they joined Celadon, regardless of prior experience. Owner-operators of dry van equipment will see their pay go up to 70 percent of a load's gross revenue, from 67 percent. Reefer owner-operators will see a bump to 75 percent of a load's gross revenue, from 70 percent, Celadon said.
Trucking companies of all types have been raising driver pay repeatedly over the past few years as an ongoing driver shortage, especially among larger truckload carriers, makes it more difficult to attract and retain qualified drivers.
For Celadon, the move comes as it forecast a $10 million fiscal third-quarter operating loss, which led to the resignation of President and COO Eric Meek. The company blamed the loss on the poor performance of its truckload operation, especially the ineffective management of its owner-operators. The company said it would focus more of its recruitment efforts on attracting company drivers, and hire from regional geographies rather than casting a nationwide net.
Celadon has yet to issue its fiscal third-quarter results after disclosing earlier this month that financial statements for the past six quarters ending last Dec. 31 should not be relied upon. The company's finances have been thrown into question over a joint venture involving its truck-leasing division.
Concerns about Celadon's financial condition have led to persistent rumors of an imminent filing under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. Jon Russell, who replaced Meek as president and COO, denied late last week that a filing was imminent.