According to the Labor Department, the transportation sector—and the trucking industry, specifically—has been slow to recover following the initial spread of COVID-19. And while the job market continues to open back up, albeit slower than desired, truck driver turnover and higher capacity in the trucking sector are creating a tough situation on the road.
Trucking has been slow to add new drivers and boost capacity, and the rapid job growth in other areas of the recovering economy may be inhibiting some trucking companies’ ability to hire and retain workers. Many of the trucking jobs lost in April due to COVID-19’s economic impact have not refilled. In conjunction with thinner budgets and health concerns around COVID-19, essentials such as trucking insurance are also under reevaluation.
Overall trucking volumes have recovered beyond the previous year’s levels. Accepted tender volumes were 18 percent higher than last year on August 31. So, in other words, trucking companies are trying to work harder with fewer resources.
Turning Up the Turnover
According to reports from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), dry van members saw a sharp increase in driver turnover in July from June, increasing from 61.5 percent to 76.06 percent. This represents the biggest jump in a single month in more than a year.
The turnover percent is a measure of how fast trucking companies lose and replace their employees. A driver turnover rate of 76 percent means that more than three-quarters of drivers quit or lose their job each year. While this may sound shocking, the industry sees high turnover rates regularly as many midsize and larger carriers see turnover rates that exceed 100 percent.
If there are a lot of driving jobs available, turnover rates usually increase. Driver turnover dropped to less than 56 percent in April of this year when the economy began shutting down but has recovered rather quickly.
The major concern that companies have is whether or not drivers in the industry will be permanently leaving the industry for others. One of the main competing sectors for drivers is construction. Since April, levels of employment in construction have increased by 10 percent compared to trucking’s .5 percent.
The instability of the trucking industry over the past few years has been unparalleled, and many truck drivers are getting tired of the conflicts and inconsistencies of what that presents. Inconsistent routes and work mean random schedules, irregular time at home, and unsteady pay rates.
The main theme of this year has been uncertainty in every form, and it remains for the transportation industry in the foreseeable future. This uncertainty is encouraging many drivers to explore more of what they think may be more balanced work options.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck, and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more.