At the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual management conference in Orlando this morning, the American Transportation Research Institute (ARTI) released the results of an annual survey exploring the most critical issues facing the industry.
More than 5,000 trucking industry executives across the US were surveyed as part of the research. This year, unlike in the two past years, HoS topped their list of concerns. The driver shortage ranked #2. Also cracking the Top 10 list was: fuel issues; congestion; government regulations; tolls and highway funding; tort reform and legal issues; truck driver training; environmental issues; and on-board truck technology.
The full report can be viewed on the ATRI Web site at www.atri-online.org. It’s worth the read, because not only does the survey reveal the most pressing concerns for trucking industry executives, but also some potential solutions.
For example, the survey suggests the following plan of attack for addressing the driver shortage: research the relationship between driver compensation and driver retention; expand image campaigns to attract an expanded pool of applicants; and redesign new entrant driver training program to increase driver satisfaction/retention.
While the driver shortage ranked second on the list of Top 10 critical issues, it was ranked first by 32% of respondents. That’s a higher percentage than HoS (22%), but a puzzling ratings system relegated the issue to second spot. Nonetheless, it’s a report worth reading. ATA has announced it give serious consideration to the survey when deciding which issues it should be most aggressively pursuing.
Perhaps most surprising was how low environmental issues ranked among fleet managers. Only 1.1% said they ranked the environment the number one issue facing the industry. Three per cent ranked it the second most important issue and 5.1% placed it third. For an industry that’s doing as much as it is to help the environment, it’s curious that the issue is barely a blip on the collective radar screens of the industry’s decision-makers.
James Menzies is editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies. All posts by James Menzies