Tontitown-based carrier P.A.M. Transportation Services announced it has increased driver pay rates up to 40% as it works to attract drivers to the company.
The mileage pay rate has increased for company drivers and owner-operator drivers within the carrier’s fleet, according to a news release. The increase will affect most of the workforce and will vary based on experience and route, but it might be as much as a 40% mileage rate increase in the first three months, compared to the previous pay structure.
“This increase to our drivers is something we have wanted to do for the past two years but were unable to because of constant rate pressure driven by a stagnant freight market,” said Daniel Cushman, president of P.A.M. Transportation Services. “We anticipate the strengthening customer demand will drive rate improvement in 2018, and coupled with benefits from recent tax law reform, allow us to give this long-overdue increase. We believe that this increase, combined with having one of the newest fleets in the industry and high utilization lanes will help us to attract new professional drivers to our company and provide a very satisfying career at P.A.M. to our existing driving professionals.”
In the third quarter of 2017, the driver turnover rate increased five percentage points to 95%, its highest level since late 2015. At the end of 2017, the truck driver shortage was expected to rise to 50,000 drivers, according to American Trucking Associations. By 2024, the shortage was projected to increase to 174,000 drivers.
On Monday (Jan. 8), shares of P.A.M. (NASDAQ: PTSI) closed at $36.76, up 76 cents or 2.1%. On Nov. 13, the stock reached a 52-week high of $43.20. In the past 52 weeks, the lowest level the stock has traded at was $14.50.