The Economy Tops the List of Trucking Industry Issues

Austin, TX – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, released its 19th annual Top Industry Issues report, identifying the leading industry concerns.  This year’s list includes the Economy, Truck Parking, Fuel Prices, the Driver Shortage, Driver Compensation and for the first time, Zero-Emission Vehicles.

“ATRI’s list thoroughly and accurately reflects the challenges we’ve faced this year,” said ATA Chairman Dan Van Alstine, Ruan Transportation Management Systems President and COO.  “Costs were up and demand was down, all while we worked to navigate a number of workforce and regulatory issues.  Thankfully, ATRI’s analysis doesn’t just tell us what the issues are, it spells out a number of data-driven strategies that the industry can pursue to address them.”

In a year full of challenges including high inflation, rising operating costs, and declining freight demand, the state of the nation’s Economy was the number one concern.  The lack of available Truck Parking achieved its highest rank to date on the overall list, coming in second.  Last year’s number one issue, Fuel Prices, was ranked third this year.  Rounding out the top five this year were the Driver Shortage and Driver Compensation. 

A number of aggressive mandates and timelines for transitioning the nation’s vehicle fleet to low- or zero-emission vehicles put that issue on the top 10 list for the first time.  Zero-Emission Vehicles were ranked 10th overall and 7th among motor carrier respondents.

Over 47 percent of the survey respondents were motor carrier executives and personnel, while truck drivers represented 29 percent.  Among driver respondents, Driver Compensation, Truck Parking and Fuel Prices were the top three concerns, while motor carriers ranked the Economy, Driver Shortage and Lawsuit Abuse Reform as their top three concerns.

More than 4,000 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey, including motor carriers, truck drivers, industry suppliers, driver trainers, and law enforcement among other groups.  For the first ever, law enforcement personnel represented nearly five percent of respondents, so the report includes a ranking of the top three law enforcement concerns. 

The complete results of the annual survey were released as part of 2023 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition.  The full report can be found at ATRI’s website here.

Source: ATRI, Ocotber 14th 2023