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Cargo Transporters raises driver pay again

A heightened freight demand environment and a declining pool of drivers has carriers raising pay to keep their equipment moving. Driver wages have been climbing for roughly a year and a half now and will likely continue to step higher for an industry that struggles to recruit and retain labor in both good and bad markets.

Dry van truckload carrier Cargo Transporters announced its largest-ever pay increase for over-the-road drivers. Beginning Sunday, the North Carolina-based hauler will pay solo drivers 6 cents more on all dispatched miles using practical mile calculations versus shortest-route guides. The increase raises starting base pay to 60 cents per mile. Team drivers will see an increase of 3 cents per mile.

The company estimates that using practical mile calculations increases a driver’s mileage by 8% on average.

Starting solo drivers opting for the “all-in” pay plan will see 67 cents per mile. That’s an increase from 55 cents per mile when the program was first introduced.

The 40-year-old company rolled out the all-in pay option nearly a year ago. It’s designed to minimize fluctuations in paychecks by prorating time off and bonuses.

“This is the largest single increase in OTR driver pay the company has made since its start in 1982,” Chairman John Pope stated in a press release. “We ask these drivers to sacrifice time at home with their family, uphold a high level of safety, fuel and maintain equipment, care for freight and dozens of other tasks. We are proud to offer this level of compensation for those that are the best in class in their profession.”

The company increased paid time off pay in January. New employees now have the opportunity to earn three weeks of PTO.

The asset-based carrier runs a fleet of roughly 500 tractors and more than 1,700 trailers, specializing in expedited and time-definite delivery east of the Rocky Mountains. Cargo Transporters uses only company drivers and employs more than 700 people.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes U.S. Xpress (No. 13), Hirschbach (No. 53), John Christner Trucking (No. 108) and Cargo Transporters (No. 159).