Top 3 Issues Facing the Trucking Industry

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), once again unveiled its yearly list of the top critical issues facing the trucking industry. The results of the annual survey are from over 4,000 industry stakeholders. Here is a summary of the top 3 issues:

  1. Hours of Service (HOS)
    • For the third year in a row now the industry has indicated that the HOS rules are the number one concern. The majority of the concern surrounding this issue is focused on the 34 hour restart provisions that are currently suspended pending the completion of the FMCSA’s congress mandated study.  ATRI research finds that 80% of motor carriers indicated a loss of productivity directly attributable to the now-suspended rules. To learn more about the status of the HOS situation and the effects it could have on the industry click here.

2.  Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

    • CSA is the FMCSA’s safety compliance and enforcement program. Some in the industry claim that the CSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) which uses carrier and state reported data to quantify performance into what they call the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories or “BASICs” do not accurately measure the crash risk of carriers and drivers. BASIC categories include:
      • Unsafe Driving
      •  Hours of Service Compliance
      • Driver Fitness
      • Controlled Substances/Alcohol
      • Vehicle Maintenance
      • Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance
      • Crash Indicator

Additionally, there are worries that disparities exist in how states collect and report safety performance data. The concern is then that shippers are misusing these “unreliable scores” in their selection of carriers to haul freight.

3.  Driver Shortage

    • The driver shortage has been a top concern of the Trucking industry for years now and the worry is not going away anytime soon. The American Trucking Association recently released a report stating that the driver shortage is now currently at 48,000 drivers and between industry growth and a retiring workforce the driver shortage could increase to as high as 175,000 by 2024.  Federal driver recruitment and driver retention programs are in the works to minimize the impact but these will not solve the problem completely. Click here to learn what shippers can do to prepare for a worsening driver shortage.

For the full list of the 2015 top critical issues in the trucking industry visit the ATRI website. If you have any questions about any of these issues facing the industry please feel free to reach out to one of our many experts.