As the end of the year approaches, let’s take a look at some of the most pressing issues that affect the trucking industry today. Every year, the American Transportation Research Institute releases the top 10 concerns in the trucking industry, as determined by the members of the trucking community at large, from owner-operators, to motor carriers and commercial drivers.
In this blog, we’ll explore the top 10 issues described by ATRI’s report to understand where we are standing as an industry and where we should go next in order to reduce the impact these issues are having on all of our bottom lines.
It’s no surprise that after the striking prices of diesel and fuel in the past year, Fuel Prices come out as the top concern, with an industry concern index of 100. After reaching some of the highest prices we’ve seen in the past decade, fuel prices re-entered the top 10 concerns list and it debuted at number 1. The last time fuel prices were one of the top concerns, was in 2013 when it ranked at #8. This particular issue affects owner-operators the most.
Moving down one spot from the past 5 years, Driver Shortage becomes the #2 concern in 2022. Although the driver shortage is projected to increase and almost double by 2030, this year’s fuel prices became the star of the trucking industry’s concerns. However, a lot of our efforts must be placed on mitigating the shortage of drivers, and for that, we must look at the contributing factors to this problem. Some of the biggest issues that deter drivers from the industry include the challenging lifestyle, and the high level of regulation, among others.
Staying as one of the top 5 issues since 2015, Truck Parking occupies spot #3 in 2022’s list. As nothing exists in a vacuum, the lack of truck parking encountered all around the country has been identified as one of the factors that contribute to driver shortage and retention problems. However, it’s not all bad news as Florida and Tennessee state DOTs have designated a sizeable amount of money to attack this problem head-on.
Driver compensation is #4 on this list, making it the third year in a row it’s placed as a top 5 concern. Compensation has been ranked as one of the top elements that influence drivers’ and owner-operators’ decisions to enter the trucking industry and change companies depending on the pay. Although money isn’t everything, it’s a very strong component of the trucking industry equation.
Rising inflation rates and an ever-looming global recession have made the Economy the #5 top concern of the trucking industry. As vague as it may sound, the state of the economy on a national and global level has heavily impacted everyone’s pockets, including drivers, owner-operators, and motor carriers alike.
These are the problems that are at the top of everyone’s mind within the trucking industry. These issues pose complicated challenges to everyone involved, and besides our best efforts, as an industry, we must adapt and make the necessary changes to ensure we can all participate and thrive in it.
In another blog, we will cover issues 6-10 of the ATRI’s report and start exploring solutions to these problems. Let’s keep trucking together!