Less-than-truckload carrier Saia (NASDAQ: SAIA) announced Tuesday it would be hiring more than 500 Class A CDL drivers and 300 dockworkers in the coming weeks. The company said the hiring blitz was in response to elevated demand and its expansion initiatives.

The recruitment campaign includes a $1,500 driver referral program, driver sign-on bonuses of $7,500 in some markets and a dock-to-driver training program with $5,000 in incentives.

“To meet demand and continue to offer customers the quality service they expect from Saia, we are looking to fill open driver and dockworker positions around the company,” Jerrold Hill, VP of organizational development, diversity and inclusion, and talent, stated in the press release.

New driver hires will be full-time employees eligible for health insurance, 401k, paid time off and overtime pay. The press release said the driver positions provide an “earning capability upwards of $100,000 a year.”

On Wednesday the Johns Creek, Georgia-based carrier reported record first-quarter earnings and guided to the possibility of generating another record performance during the second quarter.

Saia’s full-year 2021 net capital expenditures budget is $275 million, an increase from $219 million in 2020. The company already opened a new terminal in the first quarter and plans to open an additional three to six facilities this year, surpassing door count growth of 4% in 2020.

The carrier has opened more than 25 terminals in the last four years with 20 of those facilities being part of its expansion in the Northeast.

“There has never been a better time for anyone thinking of a career in transportation,” stated Patrick Sugar, EVP of operations.

Other LTL carriers have announced similar recruitment initiatives to generate the capacity needed during a heightened demand environment.

Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ: ODFL) said it was adding 1,200 drivers and dockworkers in March and Yellow Corp. (NASDAQ: YELL) announced it was bringing on 1,500 drivers and opening 12 new driver academies in February.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.

Transportation capacity ‘historically low’; prices ‘show no sign of slowing’
Oversight panel says Yellow increased lobbying efforts ahead of $700M loan
Forward Air sees more ‘double-doubles’ as company returns to form