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Driver shortage named top concern for trucking industry

ORLANDO, Fla.  — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)  today unveiled its top industry issues report, which includes the list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. For the first time since 2006, the driver shortage has topped the list.

The significant need for qualified drivers to meet the nation’s growing freight demand surged six spots in the annual survey to top the list of concerns this year, ATRI said.  Among the top strategies recommended by industry stakeholders to address the driver shortage include working with state and federal authorities to develop a graduated commercial driver’s license program to attract safe, younger drivers to the industry, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to formalize a national driver recruitment program.

The complete results of the annual survey, which generated more than 1,500 responses from motor carriers and commercial drivers, were released today at the 2017 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also includes prioritized strategies for addressing each issue.

Dropping one position from its top ranking last year, the upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate ranked second on the overall list but was number one among commercial driver respondents to the survey. Despite FMCSA’s issuance of a final ruling on the hours-of-service rules earlier this year to permanently remove the more restrictive 34-hour restart provisions, the HOS rules remained a top concern in the number three spot on the list as motor carriers and drivers look for increased flexibility in the rules.

The lack of available truck parking held its fourth place overall but moved up to the number two issue for commercial drivers. Rounding out the top five overall on this year’s list is driver retention.

“Identifying the right mix of partners and strategies to effectively address the driver shortage is one of our top goals for the industry” said ATA president and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA and its federation partners rely on ATRI’s annual analysis to ensure we successfully navigate the important issues now and into the future.”

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3 Comments » for Driver shortage named top concern for trucking industry
  1. Harry says:

    This is a fake propaganda drivers who are working in the industry are not paid enough…
    and many companies charge overseas drivers thousands of dollars, so they can work in Canada and get legal and pays them half what they pay to Canadian drivers.
    There are many drivers arround but not enough jobs.

  2. Derek says:

    This is directed at the big carriers. It would appear that going through 300 to 500 k drivers a year is finally catching up with you. Here’s a message for all those big carriers that are having trouble finding and keeping reliable drivers. Why don’t you start paying drivers for their time instead of nickel and diming them out of things they cannot control? Pay them x (whatever a driver will agree to work for) dollars per hour for 70 hours out of 8 days. Charge the shippers for it. And if a truck has to wait because of a shipper, then charge the shipper for the wait. Stop letting them use your equipment for warehousing, and charge them for it. And if you can’t keep your business going, then maybe you shouldn’t be in it. Because, I’ll tell you what… the drivers are starting to catch on that the power is shifting back into their court. Your fleets are too big to go for very long without drivers. Pay the drivers fair wages for the value they bring to the company! Right now you are not doing that, and it’s costing you big bucks. How long do think it will take before the general public realizes that they are subsidizing the forms of worker peonage we are observing in the industry? How long before you can start replacing drivers with machines? Those in the know, know that machines aren’t coming for 20 – 30 years… maybe longer. Besides that, you already can’t afford the insurance costs now because you aren’t taking your obligations to safety seriously enough. So if driver recruiting and retention is the number one problem in your industry? Then address the problem and start investing in drivers, and reasonably compensate them for ALL the work they do instead of playing games with drops and picks and wait times and all the other bullshit you dream up to try and confuse and abuse them. This problem is your problem, it’s not the drivers’ problem. It’s not a government problem. It’s not a shipper or receiver problem. And it’s not a general public problem. This is your problem and it is easily addressed by compensating people fairly for the service and value that they provide. So take some responsibility for, and ownership of, the problem.

  3. john wihksne says:

    Hi-a driver whose mileage is 10,000 plus a month should make a salary of $100,000 a year in wages. This monetary gain will accomodate the “Line- Driver shortage,simple as that! – John W.

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