The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry's not-for-profit research institute, today unveiled its list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry.
For the third year in a row, the industry ranked the Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules as its top industry concern. For the past two years, major HOS impacts on supply chains were the impetus behind the first place ranking. In this year's survey, carriers and drivers voiced their concern over the uncertain future of the current suspension of the rules.
The complete results of the annual survey of over 4,000 industry stakeholders were released at the 2015 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in Philadelphia, PA, the nation's largest gathering of motor carrier executives. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.
Moving up a position from last year, FMCSA's continued challenges with its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program resulted in a second place ranking. CSA was closely followed in the ranking by the growing shortage of truck drivers. Related to the driver shortage, driver retention retained its fourth place ranking this year as trucking fleets work to retain their most experienced and qualified drivers.
The lack of available safe truck parking rounded out the 2015 list as the number five issue. Since first appearing as an issue in the annual survey, truck parking has been on the rise as an industry concern. It initially ranked 8th in the 2012 survey and has steadily climbed to the top five issues.
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 U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.
"There is perhaps no better benchmark for the challenges we face as motor carriers and drivers than ATRI's annual survey of top industry issues. As issues climb in ranking each year, so does our collective need to aggressively identify solutions to address those issues," said ATA Chairman Duane Long, chairman, Longistics, Raleigh, NC.
"As we all know, the trucking industry operates in a complex and evolving environment and we must constantly work to understand how regulatory actions and operational challenges impact the industry," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "By improving our understanding of the issues, we can be better stewards of the important job our industry is tasked with."