Stay Metrics, South Bend, Ind., announced an update to its Stay Days Table for the 1st half of 2019. The update includes data for drivers hired each month from January 2018 through May 2019 from its carrier clients.

The Stay Days Table tracks early-stage driver retention across a broad range of carrier clients, representing dry van, tanker, reefer, flatbed and more segments. This iteration of the table includes data for 47,283 drivers and 93 carriers.

The key insight from this update is that early-stage turnover is increasing overall across the industry. While drivers hired in January 2018 stayed an average of 283 days, drivers hired in June 2018 stayed only 216 days on average, a decrease of 67 days.

The early indications for drivers hired in 2019 seem to be following this trend. Averaging several months together and comparing by year shows this most clearly.

For instance, 84.9% of drivers hired from March through May made it a full 30 days with their carriers, compared to 86.3% over the same period in 2018.

This shift is even more pronounced at the 3-month mark. Among drivers hired in 1st quarter 2019, only 64.9% made it 90 days. This is almost a 5% decrease from 69.3% during 1st quarter 2018. This downward trend on the average driver retention rate is consistent with research released by American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), Austin, Texas, which revealed driver shortage is the top-ranked issue for the second year in a row.

"This update drives home the message we've been talking about for years—early turnover is where it's at. Getting the early driver onboarding experience right should be a critical focus for every carrier,” says Tim Hindes, chief executive officer.

“These data point to a need to better understand what drives early-stage turnover. The key to doing this is a well-designed, comprehensive set of measures that can identify these factors and how they fluctuate over time. Analytics that lead to insights and highlight opportunities for improvement are also critical, but the analytics are only as good as the data on which they are based. Quality, comprehensive measurement is the foundation,” says Dr. Bradley Fulton, director of research and analytics.