Trucking Turnover Rates Remain Steady
There was once a time when truck driving was seen as a dream job. The chance to travel while on the payroll represented an escape from the cubicle, and a chance to see new places while earning a good living.
However, the one thing that is constant in trucking is change. The freight industry is used to ups and downs, with everything from pricing to capacity fluctuating wildly at times. While every data point in freight transportation is important in its own way, hiring numbers are some of the most figures when it comes to the industry’s health.
Without enough talent willing to move freight across America’s highways, trucking would lose its spot as a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. While trucking still remains the most popular occupation in most states, hiring numbers haven’t showed the type of improvement carriers hoped for.
2017 has seen slow but steady improvements in the trucking industry, offering optimism for drivers and administrators alike. Unfortunately, the one number that hasn’t showed improvement is the one that deals with roster growth.
Turnover rates have held steady throughout the past six years. While there was a noticeable dip in turnovers in 2009 and especially in 2010, the years after saw a quick rise in turnovers that has remained constant ever since. The driver shortage has become one of the biggest problem facing trucking, with the issue ranking high on the American Transportation Institute’s survey for industry concerns.
When carriers aren’t able to offer higher pay, they’re pressured to find other ways to incentivize truckers to come aboard. Sign-on bonuses, company stock, and other perks have been used to sweeten the deal for prospective drivers and show that companies value them.
Metrics have suggested that nearly a third of truckers quit within the first three months. This illustrates two problems: a lack of benefits and a tough work arrangement. New drivers may be able to tough it out if they only had to deal with one or the other, but the two together make for a rough work-life.
Carriers are still looking for methods to reduce turnovers. While turnover rates did dip slightly from the first quarter of 2017, there has been no significant change in the number as of yet.