CSA Data Suggests Drivers Switching to Owner-operators

(May 4, 2012) — The number of active, for-hire carriers counted in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA database jumped 7.5 percent, from 155,240 in February 2011 to 166,810 in April 2012, according to QualifiedCarriers, a risk management services provider in the U.S.

Jeff Tucker, CEO of QualifiedCarriers, told Heavy Duty Trucking that the data suggests a move by company drivers to go into business for themselves as owner-operators. He says many of the new registrants are returning independents who sought shelter as company drivers during the recession.

At the same time, Tucker continues, it reflects a decrease in the number of drivers available to carriers at a time of growing concern about a driver shortage.

Meanwhile, Tucker says the CSA system is not yet robust enough for shippers and brokers to use its data to select carriers and there remains “tremendous confusion (among shippers and brokers) around what people should and should not be doing with individual CSA BASIC scores.”