Trucking Managers Cite Risk Management Concerns

In an effort to identify the major concerns facing trucking management today, as well as the strategic issues management expects to face in the next two years, Liberty Mutual Group recently surveyed more than 100 trucking senior managers. Respondents cited these as the greatest risk management issues they face: *Managing driver issues such as recruiting, retention, and training (53 percent). *Structuring insurance programs and controlling insurance costs (36 percent).

*Driver safety and loss prevention (32 percent).

Sixty-seven percent of respondents with 250 or fewer employees said managing driver issues was their number one concern compared with 38 percent of respondents with more than 250 employees.

John Ryan, Liberty Mutual's vice-president of commercial marketing, presented these and other survey findings at the 1998 American Trucking Associations (ATA) Management Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans LA. Liberty Mutual Group provides insurance programs and risk management services to the trucking industry.

Liberty Mutual also asked respondents to name the biggest issues their risk management programs will face during the next two years. The issues they cited included: *Managing driver issues such as recruiting, retention, and training (33 percent). *Complying with government (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Transportation) regulations (29 percent). *Driver safety and loss prevention (22 percent).

Next, the survey asked trucking executives to name their top information sources for government legislation and regulation. Respondents cited these as their top information sources: *Industry trade publications and journals (66 percent). *State trade organizations (42 percent). *The ATA (36 percent).

"Liberty Mutual is committed to helping trucking companies address these issues," said Ryan. "Programs such as Decision Driving training and our research on driver fatigue assist companies in managing driver issues. Our innovative insurance programs that include proven loss-prevention consulting services help our customers improve their results and control their costs."

Electronic Commerce According to the survey, 66 percent of trucking executives used the Internet in the past year for their job. The survey also reported that 85 percent of respondents spend five hours or less per week on the Internet. Twenty-eight percent of trucking executives cited using the Internet to identify hauling opportunities. Seventy percent of respondents who cited using the Internet in their jobs said they do so to gather information on competitors. Sixty-seven percent said they use the Internet for obtaining regulat ory information, while 58 percent cited using the Internet to assist in recruiting new employees. Only 35 percent of respondents said they use the Internet for benchmarking their operations against industry standards. The survey also asked trucking executives to identify who they are communicating with electronically. Respondents said they communicate electronically with customers and insurance carriers primarily.

Trucking executives were asked to rate how concerned they are with a number of management issues impacting the trucking industry. The top two concerns were the availability of quality drivers and retention of drivers. In addition, respondents cited public perception of the trucking industry, DOT regulation, and information technology as their major concerns.

Survey Demographics Twenty-eight percent of respondents hold the title of company president; 19 percent hold the vice-president title; 13 percent hold the safety director title; 11 percent were classified as holding "other" titles; 8 percent hold the risk manager or insurance manager title; 6 percent hold the chairman or CEO title; 6 percent hold the CFO, treasurer or controller title; 5 percent hold the general manager title; and 4 percent hold a manager title.

In terms of numbers of employees, 17 percent of respondents report that their company has 50 or fewer employees; 12 percent report 51-100 employees; 22 percent report 101-250 employees; 29 percent report 251-1,000 employees; and 20 percent report 1,001 or more employees.

In addition, 25 percent of respondents report that their company's sales are $10 million or less; 21 percent report sales of $11-$25 million; 33 percent report sales of $26 million to $100 million; and 21 percent report sales of $100 million or more.

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