Turnover Rate at Truckload Carriers Rose in Third Quarter

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Nine Point Jump Sets Churn Rate at Large Fleets at Highest Mark Since 2018

Arlington, Virginia — The annualized turnover rate at both large and small truckload carriers rose in the third quarter, according to American Trucking Associations’ Quarterly Employment Report.

The turnover rate at large truckload fleets – those with more than $30 million in annual revenue – jumped nine points, the largest quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2016, to an annualized rate of 96%. The increase set the figure at its highest point since the second quarter of 2018. The churn rate at smaller carriers also rose – ticking up six points to 73% from the lowest level since 2011.

“Counterintuitively, we saw turnover rise even as the freight demand was relatively soft,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While turnover rose at both small and large carriers, the reasons were quite different. Large carriers reduced the number of drivers they employed, in keeping with lackluster freight levels, but smaller carriers added to their driver pools, increasing their number of drivers by 1.9%.

“During the first two quarters of the year, larger carriers added drivers, but in the third quarter they started right-sizing their fleets. Conversely, smaller companies increased their driver pool in the third quarter for the first time this year,” he said.

Turnover at less-than-truckload carriers dropped four points to an annualized rate of 9% – the lowest level it has been at since the final quarter of 2017.