Swift Transportation, the nation's largest truckload carrier, will offer truck drivers quarterly performance-linked bonuses that it says could add up to 6 cents per mile to their pay.
The trucking company is launching its Quarterly Performance Pay incentive program as truckload carriers struggle with driver turnover rates as high as 90 percent a year.
The average driver turnover rate for large truckload carriers rose 2 percentage points to 90 percent in the first quarter, according to the American Trucking Associations.
The $3.3 billion Phoenix-based carrier is experiencing higher freight shipping demand, with total revenue increasing 9 percent in the first quarter to $826.9 million.
Although Swift did not release its driver turnover rate, improving driver retention is key to any carrier trying to offer shippers a stable pool of capacity and grow business.
The quarterly bonus is meant to help Swift keep experienced drivers by rewarding drivers who stick with the company instead of leaving for another employer.
Many trucking companies, including Swift, are offering signing bonuses to attract potential drivers. Those bonuses may be a factor in rising driver turnover rates, and performance bonuses may counter them.
"As you can see from this new plan, we are serious about retaining and rewarding the best drivers in America,” Richard Stocking, Swift president and COO said Tuesday.
The Quarterly Performance Pay program is designed to focus drivers on improving their company rankings based on safety, on-time service and miles driven.
The higher the driver's rank, the higher his or her quarterly bonus will be, the carrier said. Swift has about 17,000 truck drivers, including 4,000 owner-operators.