The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, unveiled its annual list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry.
The state of the economy tops the list for the third consecutive year in ATRI’s survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry executives. The complete results were released at the 2011 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting October 15 to 18 in Grapevine TX. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.
Proposed changes to federal commercial driver Hours-of-Service rules caused that issue to climb in this year’s survey to the number two spot. In contrast to concerns over the economy, a driver shortage is affecting parts of the industry, causing that issue to rise to the third position on the list.
While many stakeholders believe that the impacts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) program may be a contributing factor to the driver shortage, a growing understanding and acceptance of CSA led it to drop two places to number four on the list.
The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the US trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.
"ATRI's annual survey of industry concerns provides ATA, and all of trucking, a blueprint for identifying the top issues we need to take up with our elected leaders and policymakers across the country," said 2010/2011 ATA Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and chief executive officer Hahn Transportation Inc.
"As we navigate these increasingly challenging times, it is critical for our industry leaders to advocate for policies that make it easier for them to deliver life’s essentials safely and efficiently,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “In order to be effective advocates, we must base our arguments in sound research and in common sense. The results of ATRI’s survey not only give us the tools to do that, but should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers nationwide.”