ATA says 3Q driver turnover increases

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The driver turnover rate among truckload carriers increased during the 2006 third quarter following improvements during the first and second quarters of the year, the American Trucking Associations reported today, Dec. 19.

ATA reported higher annualized driver turnover rates for both large and small truckload carriers during the 2006 third quarter. Large truckload carrier line-haul driver turnover increased to 121 percent from 110 percent in the second quarter. Small truckload carrier turnover, meanwhile, jumped to 114 percent from 100 percent. Large truckload carriers generate at least $30 million in annual revenue. A small carrier earns less than $30 million in annual revenues.

Less-than-truckload line-haul driver turnover was 14 percent. Small truckload carrier driver turnover exceeded 100 percent during the last four consecutive quarters for the first time since ATA began collecting driver turnover statistics in 1995.

“As more and more large carriers try to get out of the long-haul market, more small carriers are filling the gap,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “This is resulting in higher turnover rates for the segment of the industry that traditionally had a much lower turnover rate.”

Year-to-date through October, and compared with the same period in 2005, the average length-of-haul for large truckload carriers dropped 1.5 percent, while the small truckload carriers saw an increase of 12 percent.

The difference between large and small truckload carrier driver turnover rates was seven percentage points in the third quarter, compared with a difference, on average, of 17 percent from 1995 through 2005. During 2005, large truckload carrier driver turnover was 34 percent higher than that of small carrier driver turnover.