The turnover rate for drivers in the truckload sector took a “surprising dip” in the fourth quarter of 2012, probably driven by a weakened economy and overall freight volumes, according to the American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Activity Report.
Turnover at large truckload carriers fell from an annualized rate of 104 percent in the third quarter of 2012 to 90 percent in the fourth quarter, while turnover at smaller truckload fleets dropped from 94 percent in the previous quarter to 76 percent.
For the full year of 2012, turnover at large carriers averaged 98 percent, while turnover at smaller carriers averaged 82 percent. Both turnovers were the highest averages since 2007.
“As freight volumes slid a bit at the end of 2012, we saw turnover follow suit,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist, in a written statement. He claimed that as it stands now, the trucking industry is still short between 20,000 and 25,000 drivers, a figure he said that will increase as the freight economy accelerates.
“Once we see steadier, more robust economic growth, we could see the industry that is short by as many as 239,000 drivers by 2022,” Costello said.