Despite gains, fleets still struggle with driver retention

Updated Oct 21, 2015
New data from a leading trucking industry organization show that driver turnover rates increased for large fleets earlier this year, while dropping for smaller ones.
Fleets continue to struggle with driver turnover.

According to American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Chief Economist Bob Costello, the turnover at large truckload fleets rose three percentage points in the second quarter of the year to an annualized rate of 87 percent. Still, turnover at large fleets is at its lowest point since the second quarter of 2011 and below the 2014 average of 95 percent.

 Turnover at smaller truckload fleets (less than $30 million revenue) fell seven points to 76 percent, the lowest mark since the third quarter of 2013.
“While below recent averages, driver turnover is still high and a sign of a very competitive market for qualified drivers,” Costello said “We repeatedly hear from carriers that they are unable to find enough qualified drivers, leading to fears of a growing driver shortage and these numbers reflect that.”
Last week, ATA released reported the industry faces a shortage of 48,000 drivers by the end of the year.
“America’s trucking industry moves nearly 70 percent of the country’s freight and we need drivers to do it,” Costello said. “While turnover is not at historic highs, it is still high enough to merit concern. Fleets need to hire 89,000 a drivers a year to keep pace with retirements and projected growth, so ensuring an adequate pool of qualified drivers is critical.”