More drivers looking for work in 2012By Eric Anders • Feb 10th, 2012 • Category: *RELOCATION NEWS UPDATES*, Careers
But just not in the moving industry!
The February report from FTR Associates, a transportation related research firm, shows that the monthly Driver Labor Index rose 0.3% from December to January. The represented the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
This was the first year-to-year gain since December 2010 and the highest overall level since November 2010. All of the increase, according to the FTR analysis, was due to a significant addition of people looking for work. In January, FTR Associates had estimated the driver shortage in 2012 would be about 180,000,
The positive results indicate that trucking is showing very strong year-over-year growth during this very slow recovery. While that's good news for those in the transportation industry, what does it mean for movers? Most of the increases were in general freight.
According to Supply Chain Digest, some insiders think the average driver wages must rise substantially to retain an acceptable level within the trucking industry and to attract more new recruits and experienced talent into the pool. The results of recent Transport Capital Partners survey of CEOs and other executives at truckload carriers of all sizes found that a strong majority believe that driver pay must rise to over $60,000 . The article also questions if shippers will pay up to 11% more to achieve that level of reward.
Since the household goods (HHG) moving industry is served primarily by small business owner-operators and independent contractors who are contractually responsible to pay for or provide their own labor, supplies, and equipment operating costs, the average wage level is not as big an issue as in the freight transportation industry.
The excessive discount levels and freebie giveaways given to individual customers and company clients on a shrinking diet of intrastate, interstate and international moves – particularly corporate and government contracts – IS an issue. According to many frustrated and financially strapped HHG van operators and special product owner-operators, it's a A BIG issue!
While they have no control over the pricing used to secure the business, experienced, professional household goods van operators represent the front line of customer service for the company and industry they represent. After paying all their business expenses, a novice over-the-road driver in the shrinking moving or special transportation business hopes to pocket $35,000 from his 1099 earnings. Often that's the typical reward for an inexperienced new recruit working 70 hours a week, driving 60,000 miles or more annually, and being away from home an average of 270+ days each year.
Combine (and complicate) the low earning opportunities in trucking with the unavoidable scrutiny and severe penalties included in several of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new final rules regarding Electronic On-Board Recorders and proposed new Hours-Of-Service, or HOS requirements, and it not too hard to figure out why it's so difficult to attract new talent to the household goods industry workforce.
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