It’s Wednesday, May 19, 2021. It’s time for the Weekly Report. This week we will cover all of the latest driver recruiting data coming off of the three-day Roadcheck event and hit a brand new story of the week. This week’s story – one fleet was able to reduce their driver turnover rate from 53% to 39% in a single year. How’d they do it? Check out the full report for details.
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Truck Driver Searches
|WoW: Δ Up 8%|
|MoM: ∇ Down 6%|
|YoY: Δ Up 12%|
|WoW: ∇ Down .4%
Volume by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 2%|
|WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 10%|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 1/2%
*Sets record high for the 11th time in 12 weeks.
|WoW: Δ Up 1/2¢ per mile
Clicks On Truck Driver Postings
|WoW: Δ Up 8%|
|MoM: Δ Up 44%|
|YoY: ∇ Down 5%
|WoW: Δ Up 4%|
Truck Posting by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 4%|
|WoW: Refrigerated Δ Up 7%|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 8%|
Rates by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 1/2¢ per mile|
|WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 13¢ per mile|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 1 1/2¢ per mile
Would you like to have your own copy of the trucking industry data? All of the information covered in this week’s report for May 19, 2021, is available for your convenience in PDF form below. Click the image to access and download your copy.
Welcome to the Weekly Report, for Randall-Reilly I’m Joshua Miller. Let’s get right to the latest figures, shall we?
Search and click activity on truck driver postings both increased by nearly 10%. Clicks reached their highest levels since the last week of February and this makes the sixth consecutive week that clicks have increased, which suggests driver job search sentiment continues to grow and drivers are more actively looking for new opportunities.
Truck driver searches were up 8% WoW, down 6% MoM, and up 12% YoY. Clicks on truck driver postings rose by 8% WoW and were up 44% MoM but dropped by 5% YoY.
In years past, load volume had not immediately returned to previous levels following the three-day Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Roadcheck event. On average volumes fell by 3.5% following the event in the years from 2015-2019. This year, however, there was only a .4% decline and all major haul types are having 2.5x to 3x the load volumes as the 5-year averages for the same week.
With much more spot market activity this year than in years prior we can expect the spot market to take a little longer to find equilibrium following Roadcheck week.
As mentioned, a moment ago, coming off the event load postings only fell by .4% WoW after the previous weeks’ spike caused by the anticipation of the Roadcheck event. Dry van load postings increased by 2% WoW after the previous week’s surge of 30%. Refrigerated fell by 10% WoW coming off a 32% jump the previous week, and though flatbed only edged up by .5% WoW, it sets yet another volume record. This is now the 11th time flatbed has set a record in the past 12 weeks.
Truck postings increased by 4% WoW. This is a much smaller gain than the 11% drop in truck availability heading into Roadcheck, but all major haul segments saw increases in truck availability on the spot market WoW. Dry van was up by 4%, refrigerated increased by 7%, and flatbed had gains of 8% WoW. And though the ratio of loads to trucks did fall from last week’s record high, the ratio still remains at the second strongest level ever.
Spot rates fell by ½¢ per mile from the previous week’s record high. Dry van was up ½¢ but refrigerated fell by 13¢ after that 30¢ increase the week prior, and flatbed rates inched up another 1 1/2¢ WoW to you guessed it – set another record.
One fleet has managed to reduce its turnover rate from 53% to 39% in just one year. Following the success, the fleet has a five-year goal of lowering annualized turnover down to 25% or less. So how did they do it?
One major aspect was their shift to prioritize modernizing the fleet’s technology and practices. By doing so they were able to simplify the work for drivers and provide them with more consistency at all levels of the job. They have begun using an online learning management system to allow for better training and communication with drivers as well as office and shop employees.
This switch has allowed them to create and maintain consistency in their orientation training. Speaking of orientation, drivers now complete orientation at home using a computer or mobile device. Because of these improvements drivers are now able to get on the road with their first load a mere two to three hours after arriving at the terminal for the first time.
In addition to orientation modernization, the fleet has also launched a driver app in the in-cab mobile platform to streamline driver workflow, improve operations, maintenance, and safety processes.
Another big focus for the fleet has been a concerted effort on improving the consistency and quality of driver communications. They now hold live online meetings weekly with drivers and staff as well as providing a driver feedback tool.
Meetings cover everything from safety to news to discussions about new technology or any changes the fleet is considering making. These meetings see an average of 25-35% driver attendance each week.
And finally, the fleet has worked to help reinforce safe driving habits by using scorecards. These scorecards assign points and rankings for behaviors such as harsh braking or engine idling. The long-term goal for the scorecards is to highlight good driving habits as opposed to focusing on negative ones.
So, if you’re struggling with driver retention or just looking for some new ideas to improve in the area maybe think about learning from or building off the success of this fleet. All of these ideas may not be for you, but if anything sticks out from this fleet’s success – again they went from a 53% turnover rate, down to a 39% turnover in just one year – it would seem that focusing on communication and streamlining complicated processes to make the drivers’ lives easier are major factors in driver satisfaction, which can, in turn, lead to better retention.
That does it for this week’s report. Come on back and see us next Wednesday for an update on all the major driver recruiting data and a new story of the week. Until then, have a great week everybody.