What You Need to Know About Hourly Driver Pay

Truck drivers keep the country going and ensure the supply chain, the nation’s lifeblood, keeps flowing through dedicated loads, capacity management, and freight logistics. The truck driver hourly pay concept is a significant break from traditional shipping services and operations, as hourly payment setups are very common. According to Business Insider,Only about one-fifth of drivers at U.S. ports operate as hourly employees, while most are independent contractors paid per load or mile — meaning they often receive the same pay regardless of how long they wait for outside ports or warehouses.” This highlights the need for a rethinking of how drivers are paid and how these vital service providers are compensated for their time and services.

Why Hourly Pay for Drivers Is in the News

Hourly driver pay has come to the forefront in many news and media outlets, thanks partly to the growing pressure and attention on the supply chain in general. As e-commerce shipping demands continue to rise and customers are looking for more personalized and specified shipping services, the need for reliable driver access is more important than ever. Driver shortages plague nearly every industry and market, contributing to tight capacity and feeding the growing backlogs and supply chain bottlenecks at ports, warehouses, airports, and distribution centers. 

How Hourly Pay Could Benefit Drivers More Than Pay Per Mile

Hourly driver pay discussions are growing in frequency across many industrial markets. This trend is good as it focuses on driver compensation and improving day-to-day driving and working conditions. CDL driver hourly pay can help overcome supply chain trucking slowdowns in the following ways:

  • Improves driver performance by rewarding efficient and timely deliveries.
  • Demonstrates sincerity and understanding of the work that goes into driving.
  • Allows drivers to benefit from going the extra mile for quality service to customers.
  • Ensures drivers get fair pay for all the time they invest into a load, not just drive time.
  • Pays for critical work such as vehicle inspection, loading and unloading, and more.
  • CDL driver pay per hour covers drivers’ time at docks and in traffic as they are still working and on the clock.
  • Boost morale and keep drivers interested and willing to work with shippers.
  • Increases pay rates and can help compensate for fees and issues caused by delays.
  • Issues beyond driver control- weather, traffic, backlogs- shouldn’t impact their pay.
  • Greater opportunities to foster lasting relationships with carriers and brokers alike.

Is Hourly Driver Pay Going to Affect Owner Operators

A common point of confusion for shippers and drivers when discussing the hourly pay rate is how it may affect owner-operators. There will be little impact for those who own and operate their trucks and routes in most cases. As highlighted by OverDrive, “paying drivers by the hour has for years been found primarily in union jobs, as well as some non-union local and regional hauling. That pay model appears to be spreading, even to small, long-haul fleets.” Shifting to an hourly pay model can bring many benefits for drivers and can be much better overall than traditional pay per mile models. The focus on hourly driver pay is more about employee drivers for a carrier, 3PLs, and other freight terminal and shipping companies. Since this effectively locks the CDL truck driver salary per hour into a traditional employer-employee relationship, it also becomes easier for the carrier to manage available capacity, predict in-house transportation expenses, and better manage the fleet. 

How Much Can Drivers Make Hourly Compared to Per Mile?

Drivers keep the nation going and keep supplies on shelves and freight loads moving. They deserve to be adequately compensated for all of their time — not just the miles they are actively driving day in and day out. That is why talk about hourly driver pay is gaining traction lately. The actual amount that drivers can earn above current per mile pay rates can vary greatly. But considering idle times, loading and unloading, vehicle inspections, refueling time, and dock and port wait now factoring into pay rates, it shows just how much earning potential there is during peak driver seasons and during other times as well. 

Stay Ready for Hourly Pay Changes by Partnering With AMX Logistics

The push for hourly driver pay and a recalculating of standard freight rates comes on the heels of continued growth in demand for drivers who can handle a wide range of capacity loads. As highlighted by ZipRecruiter, “as of Feb 9, 2022, the average hourly pay for a Truck Driver in the United States is $24.48 an hour.” This hourly rate truck driver gains will likely increase as more companies move in their carrier and shipper relationships and begin implementing an hourly driver pay approach. Make sure your company is ready to make the change and contact AMX Logistics today.

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