Monday, April 14, 2014

Driver Turnover

According to figures released by the American Trucking Associations, the turnover rate at large truckload carriers fell six percentage points to 91% in the fourth quarter of 2013, but were above 90% for the eighth consecutive quarter.

The decline was the second straight for the measure of turnover in the driver pool, however, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said it continues to be elevated.

“We saw turnover at fleets with at least $30 million in annual revenue bottom out near 50% at the depths of the Great Recession and have increased steadily since,” he said. “The rate appears to have flattened out at an elevated level for the moment. However, it could easily increase as tightness in the labor pool should continue, and even worsen, as the economy improves.”

For all of 2013, driver turnover averaged 96%, just below 2012’s average of 98% and well off the all-time high of 130% set in 2005.

Turnover at small truckload fleets rose five points in the last quarter of 2013 to 79%, but was still below the 82% mark the figure hit in the first half of 2012. For the year, turnover at small fleets averaged 82%.

Turnover in the less-than-truckload sector fell two points to 11% in the fourth quarter, which was also the average for 2013.

Looking ahead, Costello said he expects stronger economic growth and increased growth for the trucking industry, which in turn will put more pressure on the driver market and the driver shortage.

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