ATA: Turnover rates in first quarter present ‘muddled picture’ of driver market

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated Jul 19, 2019

The annualized turnover rate at large truckload fleets rose 5 percentage points in the year’s first quarter from the quarter prior, according to the American Trucking Associations, while the turnover rate at smaller truckload fleets fell four percentage points — the first dip for small fleets in three quarters. The parity between the two rates “demonstrated a muddled picture” of the driver market, said ATA.

“While the market for drivers in certain segments continues to be tight, we’re seeing the impacts of a softer freight environment,” said Bob Costello, chief economist at ATA. “Despite weaker freight growth, it is clear that there is still strong demand for quality drivers industry wide, which will continue to put carriers under pressure to recruit and keep good ones.”

Larger carriers are defined as those with more than $30 million in annual revenue, while smaller truckload carriers are those with less than $30 million in revenue.

The turnover rate at large truckload fleets in the first quarter was 83% — 6 percentage points lower than 2018’s average and 11% lower than the same quarter a year ago. At smaller truckload carriers, the rate fell to 73% — the same rate as 2018’s first quarter.