Average weekly earnings in the transport and storage sector appear to be rising faster than in the wider economy, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Published this week, the ONS figures suggest average weekly earnings in the transport and storage sector in November 2013 of £547 (including bonuses), up 2.6% on the figure a year earlier. That compares to an average in the wider economy of £475 a week, up 0.6% from the previous year.

The ONS figures, which include both warehouse staff and non-road transport workers, appear to back up recent findings by the RHA, whose 2014 cost tables indicated a 2% rise in driver costs in the year to September 2013.

RHA director of policy Jack Semple said he wasn’t surprised by the ONS figures, but stressed that 42% of RHA members taking part in its recent costs survey reported no increase in driver costs during the year.

While there are factors pushing driver rates up, said Semple – concern about the aging driver workforce and driver shortages, new pension requirements, and Driver CPC issues in particular – firms remain focused on rates and costs, he stressed.

"There are some real challenges for firms in terms of costs and the pressure is still very much on costs from customers," he said.