Turnover rates drop; soft freight economy blamed

The latest report from the American Trucking Associations says:

  • the driver turnover rate at large truckload fleets (more than $30 million in annual revenue) dropped by two points in the third quarter of this year to 81 percent
  • the rate at smaller fleets (less than $30 million in annual revenue) rose by one point to 80 percent
  • turnover at less-than-truckload carriers fell three points to 9 percent

The rate for large truckload carriers was the third decrease of the year, and fell to the lowest point since the second quarter of 2011.

The reason: A weak freight economy, according to the ATA.

“Ongoing softness in the freight economy has contributed to an easing of the market for drivers and a reduced turnover rate,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “Since the end of the third quarter, we have seen signs that we may be reaching the end of the poor inventory cycle that has driven a lot of the weakness in the freight economy, so we may see turnover rates rebound in the months to come.

“Despite the falling turnover rate, carriers continue to report difficulty finding well-qualified drivers, a problem that will not only persist, but which will get worse as the freight economy improves.”