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Driver turnover rate dips for truckload carriers

March 20, 2018
See why despite the truckload carrier driver turnover rate falling in Q4 2017, the rate stayed higher than in the previous year.

The driver turnover rate at truckload carriers fell in the final three months of 2017, but the rate stayed higher than in the previous year, according to Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations (ATA) chief economist.

“Despite this dip in turnover, the driver market remains tight and the driver shortage remains a real concern for fleets and the industry,” said Costello. “If the economic climate continues to improve, I expect both turnover and driver shortage concerns to rise in the near future.”

According to ATA’s Trucking Activity Report, the annualized turnover rate at large truckload fleets—those with more than $30 million in revenue—dropped seven points to 88% in the fourth quarter. It was the first time the rate had dipped below 90% since the first quarter of the year.

Turnover at small truckload fleets decreased four points to 80%. The turnover rate at both large and small fleets, despite this quarter’s declines, was still 14 points higher than a year earlier.

“Despite the continuing tight driver market, I think there are a couple reasonable explanations for the dip in turnover this past quarter,” said Costello. “First, freight demand was very strong, which may have encouraged drivers to stay at their current fleet because they were making even better money with strong volumes. And second, many fleets implemented or announced pay increases last quarter, which may have disincentivized drivers from moving to new jobs.”

Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA functions as the voice of the trucking industry.

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