Trucking group says driver turnover at highest rate in nearly four years

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The Arlington-based American Trucking Associations (ATA) says a rising turnover rate for truck drivers is an indication of increased demand and competition.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said the turnover rate for truckload drivers at large fleets rose to 89 percent in the third quarter of 2011, the fourth straight quarterly increase. The turnover rate now is at its highest level since the first quarter of 2008.

“Clearly, due to the economic recovery, as well as regulatory factors like CSA [the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Compliance, Safety, and Accountability Program], we are seeing the market for good, quality drivers tighten,” Costello said in statement. “As our tonnage index has shown recently, demand for freight continues to rise, so we expect the need for quality drivers to become more acute going forward, particularly if regulations either force current drivers out of the industry or force fleets to put more trucks on the road.”

Since bottoming out in the first quarter of 2010, the turnover rate has risen 50 percentage points and has averaged 81 percent so far this year.

The turnover rate at small truckload fleets jumped 10 points to 57 percent, the highest level since the third quarter of 2008, and less-than-truckload turnover remained low at 10 percent.

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