Driver turnover has climbed to an annual rate of almost 100 percent at the nations largest motor carriers. This represents the highest level since 2015. At a time when the freight market is booming this is becoming a big problem for carriers especially with the added problem of more than half of these drivers leaving within the first six months of employment.
This information comes from data gathered from the American Trucking Association’s latest Trucking Activity Report. The report highlights one of the trucking industries biggest issues which is the ability to hire and retain quality drivers.
Smaller carriers are also struggling to hire and retain quality talent but are not having as difficult a time as the larger carriers. While the turnover rate at the larger carriers is nearing 100 percent, it’s just 72 percent at smaller carriers. According to the Trucking Activity Report, this number is 14 percentage points lower than it was a year ago.
The reason for this improvement can be at least partially explained by a commitment by carriers to improving driver pay and working conditions. So, this could be a case where the smaller carriers are more proactive in taking steps to attract high-quality talent to their organizations. Drivers have options – and many of them are looking for an employer that will not only pay them what they’re worth, but provide them with a positive work environment, good benefits and work-life balance.
There is also another important step that carriers need to invest time in and that’s the onboarding process. This is especially important since it is a known fact that there is a strong correlation between retention and the driver’s onboarding experience. An enhanced onboarding process will make drivers more likely to stay longer than six months or a year.
In this environment, trucking companies need to be more vigilant as to what will reduce driver turnover rates and use that data to enact changes.