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December 11, 2013 4:40 PM, EST
Truckload Fleet Turnover Dips Modestly
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Truckload fleets’ driver turnover dipped modestly in the third quarter, falling 2 percentage points to 97% from the second quarter at larger fleets and 8 percentage points to 74% at smaller operators, American Trucking Associations reported.

Chief Economist Bob Costello said in a statement, “The market for experienced, qualified drivers remains exceptionally tight” despite the latest report, which classifies larger carriers at $30 million or more in revenue.

Churn at the smaller fleets was the lowest since the first quarter of 2012. Among larger fleets, the decline pushed the turnover level back to the 97% pace recorded in the first quarter.

“I expect, as the economy continues to pick up, we’ll see that market get even tighter,” Costello said. “Between increasing demand for freight services and regulatory pressures, I expect fleets to remain challenged finding enough qualified drivers, and we’ll be contending with driver shortage-related issues for the foreseeable future.”

On a year-over-year basis, third quarter churn fell 7 percentage points from 104% at larger fleets and 20 percentage points from 94% at smaller carriers.

Turnover for less-than-truckload fleets increased to 13% from 6%.