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Truckload carrier turnover rate dips to lowest point since Q1 2017

American Trucking Associations said the turnover rate at large truckload carriers fell 11 percentage points in the third quarter of 2018, undoing two quarters worth of increases in the annualized churn rate.

In the third quarter, the turnover rate dropped to 87%, marking its lowest point since the first quarter of 2017 when it stood at 74%. The decline also reverses two consecutive quarters of increases in the turnover rate, which had driven up the churn rate as high as 98%—10 points higher than at the end of 2017.

“The drop in turnover can be potentially explained in a few ways,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “First, large pay increases fleets have been offering appear to be working, and drivers are remaining with their current carrier. Second, we did see a softening of freight markets in the third quarter from the incredibly strong pace it had set earlier in the year. Historically, softer freight volumes lead to lower driver turnover.”

Also in the third quarter, the turnover rate at small carriers—fleets with less than $30 million in annual revenue—remained unchanged at 72%, and the churn rate at less-than-truckload carriers fell four percentage points to 10%.

ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, the group is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move the nation’s freight.

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