The turnover rate at truckload carriers surged in the second quarter of 2017, according to American Trucking Associations, possibly reflecting a tightening market for drivers.
According to ATA’s quarterly report, the turnover rate for large truckload carriers jumped 16 percentage points to 90%, the highest it has been since the final quarter of 2015. The 16-point jump is the largest quarterly increase since the fourth quarter of 2010.
“We saw double-digit gains in the annualized turnover rate for both small and large truckload fleets,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “After a period of relatively low turnover, it appears the driver market is tightening again, which coupled with increased demand for freight movement, could rapidly exacerbate the driver shortage.”
Smaller carriers with annual revenues under $30 million saw an even larger increase, jumping 19 percentage points to 85%. This is the highest turnover rate for small carriers since the first quarter of 2016.
Turnover at less-than-truckload fleets was mixed with a slight decrease to 9% for over-the-road LTL. The rate for local LTL drivers, however, was up two percentage points to 14% for the quarter, the highest rate in three years.
“We predicted that last year’s period of relatively low and stable turnover could be short-lived if the freight economy recovered from 2016’s freight recession,” said Costello. “It appears those predictions were correct and we may be seeing the beginnings of a significant tightening of the driver market and acceleration of the driver shortage.”