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Indicators: Driver turnover rate swelled in second quarter

CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

The driver turnover rate at large truckload fleets jumped 16 percentage points to 90 percent in the second quarter of 2017, according to the American Trucking Associations’ quarterly report. The turnover rate at small fleets, those with less than $30 million in annual revenue, also leapt, climbing 19 points to 85 percent.

“After a period of relatively low turnover, it appears the driver market is tightening again, which coupled with increased demand for freight movement, could rapidly exacerbate the driver shortage,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

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“We predicted that last year’s period of relatively low and stable turnover could be short-lived if the freight economy recovered from 2016’s freight recession,” he added. “It appears those predictions were correct and we may be seeing the beginnings of a significant tightening of the driver market and acceleration of the driver shortage.”

The turnover picture at less-than-truckload fleets was more muddled, with over-the-road LTL turnover dipping one point to 9 percent, but the rate for local LTL drivers was 14 percent, up two percentage points from the previous quarter and the highest rate in three years.

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at jjaillet@randallreilly.com.