Turnover at Large Truckload Carriers Hits Highest Point in 2 Years

September 18, 2017

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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.”


  1. 1. Paul [ September 19, 2017 @ 05:08AM ]

    Wait until the ELD mandate kicks in...then you'll see a REAL driver shortage!!

  2. 2. Kenny Scott [ September 19, 2017 @ 07:19AM ]

    Who the hell wants to drive for one of these big companies with ELD. You can't get home , you sleep in bad neighbor hoods,you don't eat or go to the bathroom when you want and you make cheap wages. Do Not Drive a truck young people you will make more at anything with overtime and live like a Human.

  3. 3. Richard Davis [ September 19, 2017 @ 10:30AM ]

    I hope the driver shortage gets a whole lot worse come 2018. Just show the people in the government, just how stupid they are. I hope it drives the freight rates way up. Driver's should be paid for every little thing they do, now with these ELD's, if it is not personal things. When you get up and do your pre-trip, your clock starts 14 hours. When you stop to fuel when you are unloading, when you are waiting on dispatch to get you a load, until your 14 hrs. are up for that day. Why not be paid for sleeping also? Sleeping while on the road is part of the job, some drivers say. Yes, it is and was. This is a different time now, with these ELD's. You should be paid for every little thing you do and every minute of your 14 hrs. Not no more giving someplace 1-2-3-4 hrs. of YOUR time FREE. Truck driving is not like any other job or profession out there. A lot of people and circumstances have a hand in how a driver does his job, how his day goes and how long it takes him to do his job. The driver has NO control on the most part of how and fast any of that goes. Out of his control. Nothing he can do. This is not a one size fits all job. No 2 days are ever the same. Most drivers don't say I take lunch at a certain time because they really don't have a say in when they take lunch. It depends on traffic, the time it takes to load or unload, the people behind the fuel desk just a lot of people or circumstances tell them when they take lunch, not so much how they monitor or regulate their time, it's how other people do.

  4. 4. Steve [ September 23, 2017 @ 11:14AM ]

    It looks like drivers are unhappy with the ELDs. Why did Billionaire Freight Train owner Warren Buffet push the ELDs on trucking ? And why did Werner Enterprises help Warren Buffet,also of Omaha, help destroy trucking by piloting ELDs ? Could it be that Warren Buffet wanted to make Billions more as trucking freight would be far more expensive than shipping by Rail ? Now,You Know the Rest of the Story.....Good Day !

  5. 5. williebill [ September 23, 2017 @ 01:14PM ]

    Large truckload carriers hire students from truck driving schools.. The students are unaware of what it really takes to perform the job. 4 to 6 weeks at a truck driving school gives everyone the wrong impression about driving. To Get Your CDL and be an instant success is a lie they will tell you. Not everyone is capable of getting the job done right. YOU HAVE TO EAT HUMBLE PIE ALOT as a DRIVER. YOU MUST BE SMART IF YOU WANT TO DRIVE A TRUCK.. Trucking is the only industry I know of where they often treat drivers like they are stupid. yet the people that act like they are superior to the drivers "COULD NOT DO THE JOB THEMSELVES".....

  6. 6. John Mullen [ September 23, 2017 @ 04:04PM ]

    Regardless of the rate of driver turnover carriers refuse to abolish the archaic and unacceptable method of compensation - mileage pay. Solution has been repeatedly offered, pay for all on duty hours. We understand their reasons, they have our understanding but not our sympathy.

  7. 7. Richard [ September 29, 2017 @ 12:22PM ]

    Why would anyone except the desperate drive a truck in todays babysitting crap pay world?
    I am proud to say 2 million miles, no electronic spys and 3 logbooks enabled me to make big money for my family.
    Give me a long short time trip with good money I got out another book and ran it.
    Never got a log ticket, it is all about MONEY and now you cannot make it so park it, and watch the goody two shoes starve to death!

  8. 8. Mike R.C [ November 03, 2017 @ 11:53AM ]

    It's time for truckers to band together for a 2 week strike no freight will be moved until things change for the benefit of the driver. This would put small companies out of business in 3 days.


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