truck driver silhouette inside cab Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Turnover at large truckload fleets reaches highest point since 2015

The annualized turnover rate at large truckload carriers jumped four percentage points to 98% in 2018’s second quarter, according to American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Activity Report.

“So far this year, the turnover rate at large truckload fleets is up 10 percentage points,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “The extreme tightening of the driver market—driven by solid freight demand—will continue to challenge fleets looking for qualified drivers.”

The jump for carriers with more than $30 million in annual revenue set the churn rate at its highest point since the fourth quarter of 2015. In the first half of this year, turnover is averaging 96%, putting 2018 on pace to be the highest annual rate since 2013.

At the same time, the turnover rate at smaller truckload fleets slipped one percentage point to 72%.

“There is something happening with turnover at these smaller fleets,” said Costello. “The driver market remains tight across the truckload sector, but the turnover rate at these smaller carriers is down 14 points from the same time last year. Like large carriers, small truckload carriers have been aggressively raising pay this year, which has helped their turnover rate level off.”

Turnover at less-than-truckload fleets also jumped four percentage points to 14%—the highest mark for this traditionally stable sector since the first quarter of 2013.

“While much lower than the truckload sector, seeing this kind of jump in the LTL market tells me that this sector is struggling with drivers more than in the recent past,” said Costello, “and suggests the industry’s issues finding qualified drivers are continuing to deepen across the board.”

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