ARLINGTON, Va. — Driver turnover at large truckload carriers in the US slipped in the fourth quarter, but remained greater than 90%.
The turnover rate, monitored by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), fell 6% to 91% in Q42013, marking the second straight quarterly decline.
“We saw turnover at fleets with at least $30 million in annual revenue bottom out near 50% at the depths of the Great Recession and have increased steadily since,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “The rate appears to have flattened out at an elevated level for the moment. However, it could easily increase as tightness in the labor pool should continue, and even worsen, as the economy improves.”
For the full year of 2013, turnover averaged 96%, just below 2012’s level of 98%. Turnover at small truckload firms rose 5% to 79% during the fourth quarter. For the full year, turnover at small truckload fleets averaged 82%.
Meanwhile, driver turnover at LTL fleets fell 2% to 11% in the fourth quarter, which was also the full-year average. Costello said there will continue to be demand for qualified drivers, due to stronger economic growth and increased demand for trucking services.
“At the moment, we already have 30,000 unfilled jobs for drivers in the trucking industry,” Costello said. “As the industry starts to haul more because demand goes up, we’ll need to add more drivers – nearly 100,000 annually over the next decade – in order to keep pace.”