High fuel prices top annual list of trucking industry's leading issues

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Updated Oct 31, 2022
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Record high fuel prices are the number one concern of the trucking industry as determined by the annual survey of top industry issues, bumping the driver shortage from the top spot for the first time in five years. Last year's top three issues were 1.) Driver shortage 2.) Driver retention 3.) Driver compensation.

The American Transportation Research Institute's 18th annual Top Industry Issues report was released Saturday, and its overall top 10 issues included:

  1. Fuel prices
  2. Driver shortage
  3. Truck parking
  4. Driver compensation
  5. The economy
  6. Detention/delay at customer facilities
  7. Driver retention
  8. CSA (The FMCSA safety program Compliance, Safety, Accountability)
  9. Speed limiters
  10. Lawsuit abuse reform

However, drivers and motor carriers had differences of opinion on what the top issues were. 

Drivers' ranking of the issues were:

  1. Truck parking
  2. Fuel prices
  3. Driver compensation
  4. Detention/delay at customer facilities
  5. Speed limiters
  6. The economy
  7. Hours of service rules
  8. Electronic logging devices mandate
  9. Driver training standards
  10. Transportation infrastructure/congestion/funding

There was even a different outlook between company drivers and owner-operators as to what were the top issues. 

Company drivers ranked driver compensation as their top issue, followed by truck parking and detention/delay at customer facilities. Owner-operators' top concerns included fuel prices, truck parking, and driver compensation.

In last year's survey driver compensation and truck parking tied for the top spot amongst drivers.

Motor carriers' top 10 issues were somewhat different. They included:

  1. Driver shortage
  2. Driver retention
  3. Fuel prices
  4. CSA 
  5. The economy
  6. Lawsuit abuse reform
  7. Insurance cost/availability
  8. Diesel technician shortage
  9. Detention/delay at customer facilities
  10. Truck parking

More than 4,200 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey, including motor carriers (39%), truck drivers (47%), and industry stakeholders including suppliers, driver trainers, law enforcement, and others (14%).

“ATRI’s list is a true reflection of what it was like to be a trucker this year,” said ATA Chairman Harold A. Sumerford Jr. â€śHigh 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.”

Here's how AYTR arrives at its list of top issues:

"The survey asked respondents to select their top three choices from the list of 28 critical issues, and subsequently rank their top three preferred strategies that correspond to each selected issue. Write-in responses were allowed for both the top issues and the strategies.

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"ATRI then developed the Top 10 list using a formula that assigned weighted values to respondents’ rankings of issues facing the industry. An issue ranked by a respondent as most important received three points, while an issue ranked second received two points and an issue ranked third received one point.

"The sum total of points for each issue generated the prioritized list of top industry concerns; for example, the number one issue was the one receiving the highest number of points. Additionally, the analysis utilized an Industry Concern Index (ICI) to illustrate the relative level of concern from one issue to the next. The top-ranked issue received an ICI of 100 against which all other issues were indexed. For example, an issue with an ICI of 50 has half the level of concern as the top issue."

 The full report can be found at ATRI’s website here