“Large Pay Increases, Softening Freight Markets” Causing Driver Turnover To Decline, Says Economist

Driver turnover at large truckload carriers fell in the 3rd quarter of 2018 to 87% marking its lowest level since the first quarter of 2017 when it stood at 74%.

Arlington, Virginia — On Thursday, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said the turnover rate at large truckload carriers fell 11 percentage points in the third quarter, undoing two quarters worth of increases in the annualized churn rate.

Large Truckload Carrier Turnover Rate Falls In Q3 ’18

The turnover rate fell 11 percentage points – dropping it to 87%, marking its lowest point since the first quarter of 2017 when it stood at 74%.  The drop also reverses two consecutive quarters of increases in the turnover rate, which had driven up the churn rate as high as 98% – 10 points higher than at the end of 2017.

“The drop in turnover can be potentially explained in a few ways,” Costello said. “First, large pay increases fleets have been offering appear to be working, and drivers are remaining with their current carrier. Second, we did see a softening of freight markets in the third quarter from the incredibly strong pace it had set earlier in the year. Historically, softer freight volumes lead to lower driver turnover.”


No Change In Small Carrier Turnover Rate

Also in the third quarter, the turnover rate at small carriers – fleets with less than $30 million in annual revenue – remained unchanged at 72%, and the churn rate at less-than-truckload carriers fell four percentage points to 10%.

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