In 2015, American Trucking Associations estimated that for-hire trucking companies had nearly 50,000 fewer drivers than they needed, the shortage was less severe in 2016, but the trade group expects it to worsen in coming years reported the Wall Street Journal.
When it comes to the state of what really feels like the never-ending truck driver shortage, everything is really out there for all to see as plain as day.
We talk and read and hear about how about the projected shortfalls in the difference between the actual number of drivers out there and what is actually needed.
And we talk about other things, too, like the aging truck driver workforce, potential drivers not wanting to be away from home for long stretches and, of course, the millennial effect, in which they would rather be doing something “cooler” than driving a truck for a living.
So, rather than seeing things improve or changing for the better on that front, the really consistent themes are the ones mentioned above unfortunately.
Why? Because the numbers don’t seem to be materially changing, even if the national employment outlook appears to be brightening.
While these statistics, which were issued by the ATA in January from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), are somewhat dated, the trends remain the same:
- turnover rate at large truckload fleets with more than $30 million in annual revenue saw a 2 percent decline to 81 percent in the third quarter for its lowest level going back to the second quarter of 2011;
- this marked the third decline in 2016, with the large truckload fleet turnover rate in the first quarter seeing a 13 percent decrease to 89 percent and the second quarter off 6 percent at 83 percent
ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello cited various reasons for the lower turnover percentage on the truckload side, with a forward-looking approach to what may be in store for 2017.
- “Since the end of the third quarter (2016), 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. Despite the falling turnover rate, carriers continue to report difficulty finding well-qualified drivers, a problem that will not only persist, but which will get worse as the freight economy improves.”