ATRI Top 10 report looks back at 2016 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry

Dec. 28, 2016

With 2016 drawing to a close, Bulk Logistics Trends looks back on some of the critical issues that affected tank truck carriers—and the trucking industry as a whole. This Top 10 list was compiled from the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual report: “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry—2016.”

ATRI’s summary stated: “The past 12 months have seen a number of legislative and regulatory actions which have directly and indirectly impacted the trucking industry. In December 2015, Congress passed the long-awaited Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which directed attention and resources to a number of the trucking industry’s top concerns.

“The FAST Act mandated reform of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, allocated $225 billion over five years to the highway program, and established a pilot program for younger veteran drivers among other items.

“December 2015 saw the issuance of FMCSA’s final rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs), which set a timeline of two years for fleets and drivers using paper logs to convert to ELDs for hours-of-service (HOS) tracking. Among its provisions, the rule grandfathers in existing ELDs until at least December 2019, and sets provisions to prevent the harassment of drivers using ELDs. However, concerns exist over the productivity impacts the industry may experience from ELDs.

“More recently, the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Phase 2 final rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles. As the industry now evaluates how to ensure compliance with the new standards, concern over escalating vehicle costs continues.

“Other significant regulatory impacts are being experienced by industry stakeholders from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the potential of a rulemaking on sleep apnea screening for commercial drivers. In addition to myriad legislative and regulatory changes, issues internal to the industry continue to impact fleet operations. With an aging workforce and lack of new entrants to fill open positions, the industry is still challenged by a growing shortage of commercial drivers and diesel technicians, with no viable solution in sight for addressing the pervasive staffing challenges faced by the trucking industry.”

ATRI’s Top 10 report presents the findings of the 2016 annual survey and analysis, and compares the findings of previous years’ surveys resulting in an indicator of rising, falling, and emerging priorities in the trucking industry.