Late last year, turnover was slowing for large truckload and less-than-truckload fleets, according to the American Trucking Associations.
“There can be various reasons for this – either freight volumes are decelerating and as such fleets pulled back on recruiting efforts or fleets’ efforts to increase pay are paying dividends in the form of reduced turnover,” explains ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but it is a trend that bears watching.”
Meanwhile, the level of driver turnover among private fleets in 2021 (nearly 23%) is consistent with the aging workforce and the increased number of drivers opting for retirement, explains a National Private Truck Council official.
“The escalating turnover rate should be of concern, especially in the face of the projected shortfall of new drivers which many fleets are experiencing and which could reach 175,000 by 2024, according to industry projections,” NPTC said.
Many in the industry have suggested that reaching out to underrepresented drivers, such as women and other minorities, could be a solution to the truck driver shortage. ATA reported a shortage of 80,000 drivers in 2021, an all-time high that could reach 160,000 by 2030.
However, in 2021 there was no major progress in the increase in percentages of women, Black or Asian drivers. The Women In Trucking Association's WIT Index found that the percentage of women professional drivers (13.7%) in 2022 has increased about 3% since 2019.
In December 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Department of Transportation jointly launched the Trucking Action Plan to address the driver shortage by creating new pathways into the career path and increasing training opportunities.
Average Truck Driver Pay
This data and analysis first appeared in the August 2022 special Fact Book issue of Heavy Duty Trucking.
2022 Fact Book
The Trucking Industry Numbers Impacting the Bottom Line
Heavy Duty Trucking’s annual Fact Book is designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. 2022 is the eighth year for the HDT Fact Book. Dive into the other topics: