Turnover down but drivers still scarce

According to the American Trucking Assns. driver turnover rates dropped for truckload carriers in the second quarter this year. However, the overall driver labor pool remains very tight.

According to the most recent statistics released by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA), driver turnover rates dropped for truckload carriers in the second quarter this year. However, the overall driver labor pool remains very tight.

ATA said driver turnover during the second quarter at large truckload carriers dropped to 110% from 116% in the first quarter this year, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter of 2003. Among smaller motor carriers, driver turnover decreased 11% to 100% compared with the first three months of 2006.

However, despite reduced rates for both groups, driver turnover remains relatively high by 1990 standards, said ATA chief economist Bob Costello.

Long-haul trucking continues to experience a national shortage of 20,000 truck drivers per year, which is expected to increase to 111,000 by 2014 if current demographic trends hold. Of the 3.4 million truck drivers on the road, 1.3 million are in the long-haul segment, which is affected most by this shortage, he said.

“This is a clear signal that the driver shortage has become more acute in recent years,” Costello added.

LTL carriers, by contrast, continue to post low annual turnover rates of 13% in the second quarter, he noted.
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