116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Drivers for CRST Expedited in Cedar Rapids began receiving a pay raise in mid-January, the second boost in 15 months, as the company and the trucking industry works through one of the worst shortage of drivers in years.
The largest operating company of CRST International implemented a $10 million total pay increase for drivers on Jan. 15. The company in October 2013 announced that it was increasing driver pay by a total of $10 million over the next year.
'The raises are designed to reward experienced drivers and incent driver tenure in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Cameron Holzer, president of CRST Expedited. 'As the driver shortage worsens, the competition for qualified, experienced drivers continues to increase.
'As CRST continues to grow, we need to invest in our drivers to retain and grow our fleet.”
Dave Rusch, president and CEO of CRST International, said in an interview earlier this month that customers understand the need to raise pay to attract and retain drivers.
'As shippers, they understand it's issues with demographics and driver pay that needs to keep pace with other professions,” Rusch said. 'Our customers have come to the party and picked up the tab.”
Rusch said the driver shortage, caused in part by scheduling issues, is the worst he's seen in years. He said the company trains up to 250 new drivers each week in its training facilities in Cedar Rapids and Riverside, Calif.
In addition to the pay raise, Rusch said CRST has implemented an initiative focused on improving the driver experience and reducing driver turnover. The Gold Rules initiative emphasizes a corporate culture that centers on meeting all driver needs, providing regular driver home time and increased pay.
Since the initiative began eight months ago, Holzer said driver turnover has declined by 20 percent.