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Driver Turnover Rates at Large LTLs up 100% as Small Carriers See Improvement

The Driver Shortage Numbers May Spell Trouble For Bigger Companies

It seems that the driver shortage is finally turning around for smaller carriers while larger companies continue to face high driver turnover rates.  It was reported that the annual turnover rate at large truckload carriers rose 13 points to 100% in the third quarter of 2015, according to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. Adversely the rate at smaller truck load carriers has since dropped to 68%, making it the lowest since the final quarter in 2011.

In an earlier post we referenced CEO of Covenant Transport Group, David Parker’s remarks at a town hall style discussion on the auto transport industry.

“I don’t care if you’re running 50 trucks or 5,000, you have a driver problem,” says Parker.

The statement followed a long discussion on driver retention techniques and idea farming for better management-driver relations.

Many took to social media to chime in on the conversation, offering their views on the shortage.



Could it be the more personal relations between drivers, dispatchers and managers at smaller companies? …Less apt to be found in larger companies with a wider employee – management communication gap.

If the progression on Congress’ transportation bills is any indication of the future of the shortage, then we could look to see a slow but sure climb.

“It is just one data point, so it is hard to draw any real conclusions on what is happening with turnover,” Costello said.

Recently the focus has switched to examining areas of opportunity to attract a different demographic of drivers; namely women and younger adults. More on this issue next week.

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