Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations chief economist, said the turnover rate for truckload drivers at large fleets rose to 89% in the third quarter of 2011, the fourth straight quarterly increase. The large fleet truckload turnover rate is an indication of increased demand and competition for drivers.
"Clearly, due to the economic recovery, as well as regulatory factors like CSA (the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program), we are seeing the market for good, quality drivers tighten," Costello said. "As our tonnage index has shown recently, demand for freight continues to rise, so we expect the need for quality drivers to become more acute going forward, particularly if regulations either force current drivers out of the industry or force fleets to put more trucks on the road."
The third-quarter increase follows a previously reported turnover rate of 79% in the second quarter of the year and sets the benchmark rate at its highest level since the first quarter of 2008. Since bottoming out in the first quarter of 2010, the turnover rate has risen 50 percentage points and has averaged 81% so far this year.
Elsewhere in the trucking industry, the turnover rate at small truckload fleets jumped 10 points to 57%, the highest level since the third quarter of 2008, and less-than-truckload turnover remained extremely low at just 10%.