Driver turnover rate climbed again in third quarter as economy, freight heat up

Quarterly Turnover at Large Truckload CarriersThe driver turnover rate at large truckload fleets jumped 5 percentage points in the third quarter to 95 percent, according to the American Trucking Associations’ quarterly turnover report.

Economic growth, rising freight demand and “fierce competition” among fleets for drivers has fueled the climbing turnover rate throughout the year, says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

“The tightening of the driver market has raised fears about the driver shortage, which will hit an all-time high this year,” he said. “Fleets continue to tell us that competition for good, safe and experienced drivers is fierce, pushing wages higher in hopes of attracting the best talent,” Costello said. “However, unless steps are taken to make it easier for individuals to pursue careers in trucking, demand for drivers will continue to outstrip supply – eventually even leading to supply chain disruptions.”

The turnover rate at small truckload fleets — those with less than $30 million in annual revenue — fell in the quarter to 84 percent, a one percentage point drop from the second quarter, but two points higher than the same quarter in 2016.

The turnover rate at LTL fleets fell two points to 7 percent.