The churn rate rose in Q3 for both large and small truckload carriers. - Credit: International Foodservice Distributors Association

The churn rate rose in Q3 for both large and small truckload carriers.

Credit: International Foodservice Distributors Association

The annualized turnover rate at both large and small truckload carriers climbed in the third quarter, according to the American Trucking Associations’ Quarterly Employment Report.

The turnover rate at large truckload fleets – those with more than $30 million in annual revenue – jumped nine points-- marking the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2016-- to an annualized rate of 96%.

The increase set the figure at its highest point since the second quarter of 2018, noted
ATA in a Dec. 19 news release. The churn rate at smaller carriers also increaesed – ticking up six points to 73% from the lowest level since 2011.

“Counterintuitively, we saw turnover rise even as the freight demand was relatively soft,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While turnover rose at both small and large carriers, the reasons were quite different. Large carriers reduced the number of drivers they employed, in keeping with lackluster freight levels, but smaller carriers added to their driver pools, increasing their number of drivers by 1.9%.”

Costello said that during the first two quarters of 2019, larger carriers added drivers only to start right-sizing their fleets in the third quarter. “Conversely, smaller companies increased their driver pool in the third quarter for the first time this year.”

In addition, ATA found that turnover at less-than-truckload carriers dropped four points to an annualized rate of 9% – the lowest level it has recorded since the final quarter of 2017.

 

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