The annualized driver turnover rate at large truckload carriers jumped four percentage points in the second quarter to 98 percent, according to American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Trucking Activity Report.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello

“So far this year, the turnover rate at large truckload fleets is up 10 percentage points,’’ said Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist. “The extreme tightening of the driver market — driven by solid freight demand – will continue to challenge fleets looking for qualified drivers.’’

American Trucking Associations (ATA)

American Trucking Associations (ATA)

Turnover Rates per Fleet Types

The jump for carriers with more than $30 million in annual revenue set the churn rate at its highest point since the fourth quarter of 2015. In the first half of the year, turnover was averaging 96 percent, putting 2018 on pace to be the highest annual rate since 2013.

At the same time, the turnover rate at smaller truckload fleets slipped one percentage point to 72 percent.

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“There is something happening with turnover at these smaller fleets,’’ Costello said. “The driver market remains tight across the truckload sector, but the turnover rate at these smaller carriers is down 14 points from the same time last year. Like large carriers, small truckload carriers have been aggressively raising pay this year, which has helped their turnover rate level off.’’

Turnover at less-than-truckload (LTL) fleets also jumped four percentage points to 14 percent — the highest mark for this traditionally stable sector since the first quarter of 2013.

“While much lower than the truckload sector, seeing this kind of jump in the LTL market tells me that this sector is struggling with drivers more than in the recent past,’’ Costello said, “and suggests the industry’s issues finding qualified drivers are continuing to deepen across the board.’’

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About American Trucking Associations

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation’s freight. Trucking Moves America Forward.


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