According to the American Trucking Associations, the driver churn rate at truckload fleets with annual revenues over $30 million dropped six points to 83% in Q2— reaching its lowest point since Q2 of 2011. And the rate for smaller truckload fleets fell nine points to 79%, marking its lowest level since Q3 of 2015. On the other hand, turnover at less-than-truckload carriers went up four points to 12%.
“The continued decline in the [truckload] turnover rate reflects the continued choppiness in the freight economy,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “As we hopefully approach the end of this period of elevated inventories later this year, freight demand will pick back up, leading to increased demand for drivers and higher turnover rates in the future.”
Commenting on Aug. 23 on July’s truck tonnage figures, Costello pointed out that the “prolonged softness is consistent with a supply chain that is clearing out elevated inventories. Looking ahead, expect a softer and uneven truck freight environment until the inventory correction is complete,” he said. “With moderate economic growth expected, truck freight will improve the further along the inventory cycle we progress.”
Regarding the latest turnover rates, Costello noted on Sept.1 that even as churn continues to fall at truckload carriers, “finding enough qualified drivers remains a concern for many carriers.”