ATRI identifies 'driver shortage' as top trucking industry issue in 2018

By Land Line staff | Monday, October 29, 2018

The American Transportation Research Institute recently released this year’s version of its Top Industry Issues report. Topping this year’s list: the so-called "driver shortage."

ATRI’s annual survey received more than 1,500 responses from carriers and drivers. The results of the survey starting from most important are:

  • Driver shortage.
  • Hours of service.
  • Driver retention.
  • ELD mandate.
  • Truck parking.
  • Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA).
  • Driver distraction.
  • Infrastructure/congestion/funding.
  • Driver health and wellness.
  • Economy.

This is the second consecutive year ATRI has named “driver shortage” as the leading trucking industry issue.

“Growing demand for truck transportation over the past year has exacerbated industry capacity constraints as carriers continue to struggle with recruiting and retaining a qualified truck driver workforce,” the report states.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drives Association has debunked the idea of a “driver shortage.” OOIDA points out that the problem is retaining drivers rather than a shortage of new drivers.



ATRI proposes three potential solutions to what it deems a driver shortage, two of which deal with recruiting 18- to 20-year-old interstate drivers. OOIDA opposes lowering the age minimum, citing safety, among other reasons. Addressing the opposition, ATRI is conducting research that looks into how to identify and recruit safe, younger drivers to the trucking industry.

Regardless of safety, OOIDA has also stated that lowering the minimum age requirement would be unnecessary if carriers start paying drivers what they are worth in a driver-friendly environment. This would likely lower the turnover rate and consequently reduce the amount of drivers needed in the thriving economy.

ATRI also identified what it calls “emerging issues.” These are issues that just missed the top 10 list. They include:

  • Highway safety and crash reduction.
  • Tort reform.
  • Automated truck technology.

There were some differences in ranking between drivers and carriers. Below are the most important issues for drivers:

  • Hours of service.
  • Truck parking.
  • ELD mandate.
  • Driver distraction.
  • Driver retention.
  • CSA.
  • Driver health and wellness.
  • Infrastructure/congestion/funding.
  • Driver shortage.
  • Automated truck technology.

Comparatively, below is how motor carriers ranked industry issues:

  • Driver shortage.
  • Driver retention.
  • Hours of service.
  • Infrastructure/congestion/funding.
  • ELD mandate.
  • CSA.
  • Driver distraction.
  • Tort reform.
  • Truck parking.
  • Federal preemption of state regulation of interstate trucking (F4A).

To read the full report, click here.

 

 

 

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