Driver Turnover at Truckload Carriers Remains High in Q3

December 11, 2012

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe

The annualized linehaul driver turnover rate at large truckload fleets remained over 100% for the second straight month, and the churn at smaller truckload carriers rose to a five-year high, according to American Trucking Associations Trucking Activity Report.

At fleets who report more than $30 million in annual revenue driver turnover dipped 2 percentage points to 104%, just off the five-year high of 106% reported in the second quarter. It is the first time since the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2008 that the turnover rate has pierced the 100% barrier in consecutive months.

Increasing competition for quality drivers, coupled with gradual, albeit choppy, growth in demand for trucking services, continues to put pressure on the driver market, said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

At fleets with less than $30 million in annual revenue, this competition contributed to an eight-point jump in driver turnover during the quarter. At 94%, turnover among small fleets is now at its highest point since the first quarter of 2007.

These numbers continue to reflect a tight driver market, and an actual shortage for drivers, Costello said. We believe the industry is actually short between 20,000 and 25,000 drivers, but if freight volumes were to accelerate, I would expect that number to grow and grow rapidly.

The turnover rate for less-than-truckload fleets averaged just 8% in the second quarter, down from 9% in the previous quarter. This marks the fourth straight quarter that the LTL turnover rate was less than 10%.

ATA estimates the current shortage of drivers to be in the 20,000 to 25,000 range in the for-hire truckload market. At the current trends, the shortage could balloon to as much as 239,000 by 2022.


  1. 1. Dick [ September 25, 2013 @ 03:35AM ]

    The driver turn over, will change to a major drop of experienced drivers with 10 plus years, if they are near retirement age. The reason is they know and are experiencing a cut in miles by 20% because of the new hours of service rules that in effect have cut 1 day per week from their miles. They know what is causing things to drop. New, drivers, will stay for a while because they are trapped with school training costs, and the traps they took on under the captive large carrier training schools. The miles today are harder to make because of traffic, than they used to be as well. Our industry clings to the mile pay methods of the past, and we are prevented from driving on may more roads. Pay should go to real miles needed over truck approved roads.


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All