The year 2000 "shows no abatement of the intense competition among truckload carriers to offer improved wage and benefit packages," says SignPost Inc., publishers of The National Survey of Driver Wages.
According to its latest survey, 17% of truckload carriers made changes to their wage and benefit packages in first quarter 2000. The average rate of increase was 4.5%, about the same as increases recorded for first quarter 1998 and 1999.

"The fact that the first quarter of 2000 mirrors the first quarters of the last two years indicates the truckload industry is in for a repeat performance of rapid wage changes which outstrip the rate of inflation," researchers said.
Frozen Food Express made the biggest change. The carrier scrapped most of its bonus programs and increased base pay for starting drivers with three years of experience from 25 cents a mile to 31 cents a mile. Other carriers noted were American Central Transport which raised its base pay for experienced drivers from 31 cents a mile to 34 cents, and McClendon Trucking which went from 28 cents to 32 cents.
The survey, published four times a year, looks at pay packages of over 400 truckload carriers. About 20% of refrigerated carriers raised driver pay. The average increase was 4.5%. Some 16.7% of dry van carriers reported raises, with a 5.3% average increase. About 14.3% of flatbed carriers raised pay; 3.6% was the average.
For more information about the survey contact SignPost at (715) 386-3943 or go to