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US driver turnover drops sharply

ARLINGTON, Va. — Driver turnover in the US dropped sharply in the first quarter, reaching its lowest levels in years.

“Clearly, the decline in driver turnover in the first quarter was significant,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said, “but what is less clear is why it dropped so much and whether turnover will continue to remain low.”

Turnover rates at large and small truckload fleets dropped 12%. This brought turnover at large fleet (more than US$30 million in revenue) to 84%, marking the first time it has fallen below 90% since 2011.

For smaller fleets, turnover dropped to 83%.

“Drivers continue to be in high demand, so we still see the risks posed to the economy and our industry by the shortage of drivers,” Costello said. “The drop in turnover was likely, at least partially, connected to a temporary slowdown in freight movements in the quarter, as well as improved retention efforts of fleets across the board. But I would not be surprised if turnover edges higher in the quarters ahead.”

During the quarter, turnover at less-than-truckload fleets fell one percentage point to 9%, its lowest level since the second quarter of 2013.

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3 Comments » for US driver turnover drops sharply
  1. Lee says:

    I guess when pretty much every company offers ” more of the same “, guys finally tire of searching for greener grass and just tough it out at the same place with little hope of finding anything significantly different or better ??
    I seriously doubt turnover numbers changing downward have anything to do with positive results in the current workplace. Something else is underlying here. Sadly.

  2. Steve w says:

    In Canada many of the younger truck drivers are just getting other jobs that are paying $5.00 to $10.00 more per hour. I went to a recent job fair and most recruiting reps did not want to believe what we made in construction.

  3. Cliff Kostiuck says:

    There is “NO” shortage of drivers just a shortage of people who are willing to be treated like 2nd class citizens. Drivers are not treated properly or even acknowledged as a trade and until the somebody steps in and starts the process, industry and carriers will continue to believe “ANYONE” can drive a truck. Interesting that when your toilet plugs up there is no issue of paying top dollar for a “tradesman” to unplug it but when we don’t haul your toilet paper the work is put out to the lowest bidder because “ANYONE” can drive a truck.

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