AUSTIN, Texas — The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, Monday unveiled its Top Industry Issues report, which includes the list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. For the second year in a row, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issue.
ARTI released the report during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition under way here.
The report includes response from both professional drivers and motor carrier fleets.
The need to recruit qualified truck drivers is not a new issue for the industry.
In fact, the driver shortage has been a top-three issue in 12 out of the 14 years that ATRI has conducted this survey, the results of which is a compilation of responses from drivers and fleets.
However, the driver shortage has held firm as the No. 1 issue as strong freight demand and an aging workforce increase pressure on motor carriers to recruit and retain the best talent.
The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also includes prioritized strategies for addressing each issue.
The No. 2 issue in this year’s survey is the Hours of Service rules, driven in large part by the industry’s call for increased flexibility in the rules, particularly the sleeper berth provision. Reflecting the industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining professional drivers, this year’s No. 3 issue is driver retention, up two spots from last year.
Industry concern over the electronic logging device mandate has abated some since the final rule went into effect last December, as evidenced by a drop in ranking from the No. 2 issue in 2017 to the No. 4 issue this year. The lack of available truck parking rounds out this year’s top five but remains as the number two issue among commercial drivers.
Professional drivers ranked Hours of Service as the No. 1 concern with truck parking as No. 2 and ELDs as No. 3.
Here are the bottom five concerns when combining driver and fleet responses: (6) CSA; (7) Driver Distraction; (8) Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (9) Driver Health/Wellness; and (10) Economy.
Beyond HOS, Truck Parking and ELDs, here are concerns four through 10 as rated by drivers: (4) Driver Distraction; (5) Driver Retention; (6) CSA; (7) Driver Health and Wellness; (8) Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (9) Driver Shortage; ajnd (10) Automated Truck Technology.
Here are the top 10 concerns as rated by fleet executives: (1) Driver Shortage; (2) Driver Retention; (3) Hours of Service; (4) Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding; (5) ELDs; (6) CSA; (7) Driver Distraction; (8) Tort Reform; (9) Truck Parking; and (10) Federal Preemption of State Regulation of Interstate Trucking (F4A).
“I’ve spent the past year traveling the country as ATA chairman and everywhere I go, people talk about how we’ve got to resolve our workforce challenges if we’re going to keep this nation’s economy moving forward,” said Dave Manning, TCW president. “ATRI’s annual analysis lays out the industry’s preferred strategies for not only addressing our workforce issues, but HOS, truck parking, and congestion as well.”
ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.
A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at www.TruckingResearch.org.
The November 15-30 issue of The Trucker will carry more details about the report.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.