Photo: Evan Lockridge

Photo: Evan Lockridge

Swift Transportation has affirmed earlier expectations for a third-quarter performance of 33 cents to 37 cents adjusted earnings per share, saying its driver wage increase is having desired results.

During the third quarter of 2013, the Arizona-based operation posted adjusted EPS of 29 cents per share.

“We are pleased with the results we are experiencing thus far from the over-the-road driver wage increases that went into effect on August 4. Although this increase has only been in place for a couple of months, the feedback we have received to date from drivers has been very positive,” said President and COO, Richard Stocking.

He said equally important is the impact the wage hike has had so far on the company’s operational results.

“Currently, our driver academies are full, and we are experiencing record recruiting weeks. When compared to the second quarter of 2014, our company driver turnover of our over-the-road fleets has improved more than 16 percentage points, and is currently well below industry average,” Stocking said. “Additionally, our company wide unseated truck count has declined approximately 20% from the end of the second quarter, and the utilization in our linehaul fleet has improved by more than 3% year over year in the current quarter”

He said Swift been actively working with customers to achieve the commensurate rate increases to help cover the cost of the changes to driver pay, and the company has been encouraged by their response.

“We expect the increase in our revenue per loaded mile excluding fuel surcharges in our core over the road business to increase 4% to 5% on a year over year basis. We know it is early, but we are cautiously optimistic about the trends we are seeing as a result of the strategic decision we made regarding our driver compensation.”

Swift is set to release its third quarter financial report on Oct. 23.