Turnover at large TL carriers at 88%

In what the American Trucking Associations called a “surprising” drop in turnover, the average annualized turnover rate at large truckload carriers dropped a whole percentage point in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 88%. ATA defines large truckload carriers as those with $30 million or more in annual revenue. The surprising part was not the scope of the decrease so much as the fact that turnover did drop after a year of quarterly increases.

“This reprieve, while surprising, is likely temporary,” said Bob Costello, ATA chief economist. “As the economy continues to recover, freight volumes should continue to grow, which along with regulatory challenges related to hours-of-service and the government’s CSA fleet oversight program, will continue to cause the driver market to tighten and the turnover rate to rise.”

Turnover among large truckload fleets had risen to an annualized rate of 89% in the third quarter of 2011 after bottoming out at 39% in the first quarter of 2010. For all of 2011, the large truckload turnover rate averaged 83%, the highest average since 117% in 2007.

At small truckload firms with less than $30 million in annual revenue, the turnover rate dipped to 55% from 57% in the previous quarter. The fourth-quarter turnover rate for less-than-truckload fleets fell to 7% from 10% in the third quarter

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