Data tracked by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) indicated that driver turnover at large TL carriers exceeding $30 million in annual revenue declined during the third quarter this year – the third time turnover dropped this year for larger TL fleets, the trade group said.
However, turnover increased slightly in the third quarter for smaller TL carriers, ATA noted.
For large TL, the group reported that driver turnover dipped two points to 81%, while the turnover rate at smaller TL fleets jumped a point to 80%. For LTL carriers, turnover dropped three points to 9%.
“Ongoing softness in the freight economy has contributed to an easing of the market for drivers and a reduced turnover rate,” Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, noted in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Yet Costello cautioned that, despite the falling turnover rate, TL carriers continue to report difficulty finding well-qualified drivers – a problem he believes will not only persist but get worse as the freight economy improves.