Imagine if you had to replace your entire operations staff roughly every nine months. That's the plight of some of the nation's trucking companies. Data recently released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) show that the driver turnover rate among large truckload (TL) carriers hit 127 percent during the first quarter of 2007.
The ATA, which has been collecting driver turnover statistics since 1995, says this represents the highest turnover rate since the fourth quarter of 2005 (when it reached 136 percent). "The softer freight demand contributed to the increase in large TL driver turnover," says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. "Nearly 80 percent of the large carriers in our sample saw their number of employee-drivers fall during the period. In some cases, the drivers [who] left were not replaced, due to soft and choppy freight levels."
Things were only slightly better among their smaller counterparts. Small TL carriers reported a driver turnover rate of 102 percent during the first three months of the year. The small carriers' turnover rate has remained at or above 100 percent for six consecutive quarters.