Nationwide flatbed carrier Montgomery Transport, Birmingham, Alabama, announced it has implemented a temporary driver shortage surcharge of 5 cents per mile, to be passed on directly to drivers.
“This year has presented our industry with many challenges as supply chain constraints have forced all companies to adapt and discover new ways to push their businesses forward,” said Rollins Montgomery, CEO of Montgomery Transport, in a news release. “The labor force has been affected particularly hard within the transportation industry, as many drivers have found new local opportunities and/or better pay in areas such as warehousing or final-mile delivery to support the e-commerce boom.”
Montgomery estimates e-commerce shipments will be at an all-time high during the next 90 days as the holiday season approaches, so the need for qualified drivers will only be amplified, particularly within the flatbed space. The surcharge went into effect Nov. 8.
The move addresses concerns expressed by some fleets that once the current situation of high demand and tight capacity eases, they will not be able to maintain the pay raises they have implemented during this time.
Over-the-road drivers will receive this extra “appreciation pay” for every loaded mile from Nov. 2 to Jan. 31, 2022. Dedicated drivers will also receive an increase in daily pay over the same time period, but the company did not specify how much.
This is the latest of pay initiatives Montgomery has implemented this year. During the colder months, when tarping is more challenging (Nov. 2 to Feb 1.), Montgomery increased tarp pay for legal standard loads from $35 to $50 and over-dimensional loads from $50 to $60.
Drivers who have been with MT for at least 30 days are now eligible for guaranteed weekly minimum pay of up to $1,200 depending on tenure. Previously, eligibility was after six months. Those who have been with the carrier for six months are now eligible for vacation pay rather than after one year.
In July, the company increased breakdown pay from $100 per day to $150 per day. The carrier has made significant investments in new equipment, making its fleet one of the youngest in the industry and giving drivers more uptime with fewer maintenance issues, it said.