Turnover rates high, but driver shortage still set to get worse

Turnover rates at small and large trucking operations in the US were over 90 per cent during 2014.


Staff turnover rates at US trucking firms continue to remain stubbornly high, and there is a warning the problem will worsen.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) says turnover rates at large trucking fleets were 96 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the rate at smaller carriers (those with less than $30 million in annual revenue) hit 95 per cent.

Large trucking companies averaged a 95 per cent turnover rate in 2014, which was down 1 per cent from the previous year. Small fleets recorded a turnover rate of 90 per cent in 2014 — an 11 per cent increase over the year before.

Turnover rates act as a barometer of driver shortage levels in the US.

"These figures show us that the driver shortage, which we now estimate to be between 35,000 to 40,000 drivers, is getting more pervasive in the truckload sector," ATA chief economist Bob Costello says.

"Due to growing freight volumes, regulatory pressures and normal attrition, we expect the problem to get worse in the near term as the industry works to find solutions to the shortage."

Costello says the turnover gap between large and small carriers is narrowing to a level the industry has not experienced for some time.

"This is likely the result of larger fleets raising pay, offering bonuses and attracting more and more drivers from smaller fleets to fill seats," he says.

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