Schneider targets Canadian drivers with special package

by Ingrid Phaneuf

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – Schneider National Inc. last month announced plans to increase pay and time-at-home opportunities for its owner/operators and drivers.

Based in the U.S. but with a large operating centre in Guelph, Ont., the company has developed employment packages especially for the Canadian employment market, said company spokesman Mike Norder.

“We will be looking to hire more drivers and owner/operators in Canada and focusing on the Ontario/Montreal area,” Norder said. The package being offered for Canadian owner/operators differs from that for drivers, he added.

While owner/operators are being offered U.S. 90 cents per mile, drivers, depending on their level of experience, can get anywhere between one to three cents Canadian per mile.

Depending on their level of experience when hired, Canadian drivers can expect to make anywhere between CAN $40,500 to $60,000 per year.

“And that doesn’t include a quarterly bonus for both owner/operators and drivers, or what we pay for waiting time at the dock and at the border,” said Norder.

Again, when it comes to delays, the pay scheme for owner/operators and drivers differs, said Norder.

Pay for delays at the dock or at the border starts after two hours in either case, he said. But for owner/operators, the pay for waits ranges from U.S. $25 to U.S. $125, while company drivers get paid in Canadian dollars, from CAN $20 to CAN $100.

Norder acknowledges that hiring demands for Canadian drivers and O/Os are on the increase.

“But we’re also trying to retain the ones we have,” he said. “Our Canadian drivers do very well, and that’s why we’re planning to hire more.”

Schneider, a registered member of the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program will most likely increase its transborder traffic, Norder added.

“The availability of freight travelling across the border makes it highly likely,” he said. “Every year we expand our business in Canada.”

The company is also hoping to attract more drivers and O/Os with a new initiative to increase the opportunity to get home, Norder added.

“We’re adding more short-haul opportunities and we’ll soon be posting an online calendar to make it easier for drivers and owner/operators to plan their schedules,” he said.

The secret to recruiting and retaining drivers isn’t just offering them more money, Norder said.

“It’s improving their quality of life.”

Competition for drivers and O/Os is fierce, acknowledges Norder, but that doesn’t mean Schneider will be bringing its recruitment campaign to Canadian truck stops.

“Our first priority is to hang on to the drivers we already have.”

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