While larger fleets are facing driver churn exceeding 100% 😬, smaller fleets are thriving. Recently at the JP Morgan Transporation Conference we learned that small fleets (those with 2-20 trucks) grew by 11% in the last year 📈.
Here's what we're seeing driving the reallocation:
First and foremost - when truckers make money, truckers buy trucks. And in the last couple of years truckers made a lot of money. Additionally, with financing readily available, it's never been easier for truck drivers to branch out on their own. This makes it much easier for drivers to team up and form their own small fleets.
Next - driving for smaller fleets provides more autonomy and flexibility. For large fleets, dispatch, routing, and scheduling are extremely complex and interdependent tasks, making it almost impossible to account for drivers preferences in addition. Does Tom want to be home on Thursdays? Does Larry dislike driving over the mountains? Smaller fleets can provide the personalized flexibility and scheduling that everyone in the workforce is seeking.
So are drivers in control? Sure. Is it harder to hire drivers? Yes. But let's not forget, we're in the tightest labor market in 50 years, and hiring across the board is difficult.
In summary, fleets that provide the most alluring work environment are thriving. And those fleets happen to be family owned businesses.