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Driver Shortage Still Critical Going Into Peak Season, According to ATA Data

 

Despite industry-wide efforts to decrease driver turnover with increased driver pay and benefits, the American Trucking Association (ATA) reported that annualized turnover for fleets and carriers with more than $30 million in revenue increased 6% to 94% in the first quarter of 2018.

The Association’s quarterly Trucking Activity Report showed a 20% annual increase in driver turnover for the aforementioned fleets, which is shocking especially given that unemployment in America was last reported in April as being at 3.9%. One of the main pain points brought up in the report was the difficulty finding and retaining quality drivers, a problem that could seriously hamper the industry as a whole.

The outlook was not bleak for all trucking segments, however - smaller truckload carriers experienced a 7% turnover rate drop to 73%. Though the rate is still high, the drop is promising to the abilities of small fleets to retain quality drivers. LTL carriers experienced a 2% increase in turnover rate, but with overall turnover reaching only 10%, LTL rates and retention should remain solid throughout the peak season.

So what can shippers do to mediate the impact of the effect of the driver shortage on their peak season revenues? One is to keep in mind things to expect from this peak season so your team isn’t taken by surprise in what is sure to be a record-setting market. Another is to ensure your carriers have proper trainings and SOPs in place for pre-inspection for ELDs and cargo security. While drivers and carriers hold the power in the industry right now, these steps will definitely help shippers get some power back.


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