Turnover in the trucking industry has fallen to the lowest point in five years, but carriers still struggle to find qualified semitrailer drivers. The problem is only expected to get worse as the freight economy improves, a trucking economist said.
Trucking companies with more than $30 million in annual revenue saw their turnover rate fall two points to 81%, according to trade organization American Trucking Associations. This is the third decline so far this year, and the percentage is the lowest it’s been since the second quarter of 2011.
“Ongoing softness in the freight economy has contributed to an easing of the market for drivers and a reduced turnover rate,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said in a news release. “Since the end of the third quarter, we have seen signs that we may be reaching the end of the poor inventory cycle that has driven a lot of the weakness in the freight economy, so we may see turnover rates rebound in the months to come.”
Turnover for smaller truckload companies increased one point to 80%, and turnover for less-than-truckload carriers declined three points to 9%.
Though turnover rate continues to fall, carriers still struggle to find “well-qualified drivers, a problem that will not only persist, but which will get worse as the freight economy improves,” Costello said.
The trucking industry added 1,100 jobs in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry had 9,700 more employees in November than it did in the same month last year.