Truck Driver Shortage Jumps in Q3

Feb. 2, 2016
The turnover rate at large truckload carriers hit 100% in the third quarter of 2015, the highest it has been in three years.

The annualized turnover rate at large truckload carriers rose 13 points to 100% in the third quarter of 2015, the highest it has been in three years, according to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello.

However, the rate at smaller truckload carriers dipped to 68%, its lowest point since the final quarter in 2011.

“It is just one data point, so it is hard to draw any real conclusions on what is happening with turnover,” Costello said. “However, the increase in the turnover rate at large carriers matches up with what we’ve been hearing anecdotally from fleets: that the market for drivers continues to be tight.”

For the first three quarters of 2015, the turnover rate for larger carriers – fleets with more than $30 million in annual revenue – has averaged 90%, down slightly from 2014’s average of 95%.

The small carrier rate has averaged 75% year-to-date, a significant dip from the 90% it averaged in 2014.

The turnover rate at less-than-truckload fleets dipped three points to 10% in the third quarter and has averaged 10% for the first nine months of 2015 – down from the 11% it averaged for 2014.

“The split in the truckload turnover rates is not unusual, but may be caused by a variety and combination of factors,” Costello said. “We may likely have a clearer picture of the driver market once fourth quarter turnover figures are in so we can better analyze any possible trend.”

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