The price of fuel is the biggest worry on the trucking industry’s mind right now.
The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, released its 18th annual Top Industry Issues report, identifying fuel prices, the driver shortage, truck parking, driver compensation, the economy and for the first time, speed limiters as the weightiest issues.
“ATRI’s list is a true reflection of what it was like to be a trucker this year,” said ATA chairman Harold Sumerford Jr.
“High fuel prices and finding drivers were two of our industry’s biggest challenges – challenges made more difficult by the economy and the continued lack of truck parking. Thankfully, ATRI doesn’t just tell us what the issues are, it provides a number of possible solutions that decision makers can use to address them.”
In a year that saw record-high fuel costs, fuel prices were ranked as the top industry concern, replacing the driver shortage, which had been the number one issue for five years in a row. This year, the driver shortage was the second-ranked issue, followed by the lack of available truck parking. Rounding out the top five this year were driver compensation and the economy.
With the release earlier this year of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Notice of Intent to enter into a speed limiter rulemaking in 2023, speed limiters ranked in the top 10 this year for the first time, coming in ninth overall and fifth among commercial driver respondents.
Over 47 percent of the survey respondents were professional truck drivers and 39 percent were motor carrier executives. Among driver respondents, truck parking, fuel prices and driver compensation were the top three concerns, while motor carriers ranked the driver shortage, driver retention and fuel prices as their top three concerns.
More than 4,200 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey, including motor carriers, truck drivers, industry suppliers, driver trainers, law enforcement, and others.
“This year’s survey had the highest number of responses to date, showing how committed our industry is to identifying the most critical concerns and more importantly, figuring out how we collectively deal with each issue,” said ATRI president and COO Rebecca Brewster.