ATRI Top 10 Issues Facing the Trucking Industry



The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, recently published their survey of the top 10 issues facing the trucking industry. The list was determined by surveying over 1,000 stakeholders in trucking. These individuals ranked their three most critical issues.  

Top 10 list by importance:

1. Hours of service – The biggest concern here is whether the restart provisions from 2013 will be reinstated. It was suspended in 2015 and the government is waiting for additional studies to determine the efficacy of the changes that were rescinded.

2. CSA – There have continually been issues with the quality of the data included and how the system compares different fleets. DOT recordable crashes are a huge concern as the online data does not differentiate between preventable or non-preventable crashes.

3. Driver shortage – Present estimates show a commercial truck driver shortage of 48,000 drivers that may increase to 200,000 in the next few years. The average age of an OTR driver is 52 and the average life expectancy for these drivers is 61.

4. Driver retention – Turnover rates for OTR drivers have increased dramatically since the recent recession. The most recent estimate of driver turnover for larger trucking companies is at 87%.

5. Truck parking – There is a critical shortage of truck parking around the country. States have closed rest areas and many receivers will not let truckers park their trailers at or near their facilities prior to delivery. The challenge has led to truckers being forced to park in unsafe areas.  This has led to physical attacks on drivers and/or cargo thefts.

6. Electronic logging mandate – The requirement for electronic logs has been pushed back a number of times and a final rule that elaborates equipment and data requirements has not yet been issued.

7. Driver wellness – Truck drivers are on average, much less healthy than the general public. This has led to many drivers not being able to get a medical card and an increase in work related injury costs. Many companies are now instituting driver wellness programs.

8. The economy – The trucking industry is a leading economic indicator. Financial problems in trucking usually precede an economic downturn by approximately 6 months.

9. Transportation infrastructure – Our roads are deteriorating and capacity is not keeping up with demand. This has led to increased congestion in most urban areas. Additionally some roads/bridges are not allowing heavy trucks as they are no longer able to handle them. There is presently no long term plan at the state or federal level to address this critical issue.

10. Driver distraction – Distracted driving continues to be a huge problem. Many drivers continue to use hand held cellular devices. This problem has led to an increase in rear end collisions and in crashes where a commercial driver is found to be on a cell phone, a significant increase in claim costs.

HUB transportation advisers help fleet owners and operators better understand the regulatory climate that drives many employer decisions. From driver safety and retention to contractual obligations and worker classification, HUB makes the job of managing fleet more effective and efficient. Contact a HUB transportation specialist today.