Each year, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) surveys over 15,000 trucking industry stakeholders and asks their opinion on the top issues facing the industry. This year, new challenges appeared on the list while other, timeless issues remained top-of-mind. Here are the survey results, summarized:
#10: Hours of Service
Despite significant changes to the FMCSA’s HOS rules, hours of service requirements remain a top issue in the industry. However, it is possible that as fleets adopt the new HOS guidelines into their routine processes, this could change.
Learn more about staying safe with the HOS rule change.
#9: Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities
In a previous survey conducted by ATRI, 34% of survey respondents indicated that detention times were worse during the pandemic—possibly the result of reduced staffing at shipper/receiver facilities with employees affected by the virus. For this reason, it’s unsurprising that detention made the list for the second year in a row.
Like many aspects of 2020, this year’s economy has been unpredictable. Some transportation industry sectors have reported massive surges in demand while others have seen demand take a nosedive. To help replenish the industry’s burdened areas, 36.7% of survey respondents said they would like to see policies that boost consumer spending.
Learn more about other effects of COVID-19 on fleets.
#7: Tort Reform
With Nuclear Verdicts on the rise, it is no surprise that tort reform—changes to the civil justice system that generally reduce a plaintiffs’ ability to file lawsuits or be awarded high damages in court—made the top 10 list this year. Tort reform would require legislative action to enact, so meaningful changes to civil liability may be slow coming.
Learn more about the rise of Nuclear Verdicts.
#6: Driver Retention
With the driver shortage coming in at #1 on this year’s list, it makes perfect sense that driver retention made the list too. ATRI stated that turnover is expected to increase as freight demand returns to pre-COVID-19 levels, so fleets will have to make the process changes required to build a strong culture of retention.
Learn more about building a culture of retention.
#5: Insurance Availability/Cost
Since 2018, trucking insurance carriers have lost $1.8 billion from plaintiff’s attorneys targeting fleets for multi-million dollar verdicts. As a result, several insurance carriers have exited the commercial auto liability market altogether, and those that remain have raised rates.
Learn more about the rise of insurance costs.
#4: Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
Since debuting in 2010, CSA has been on ATRI’s Top 10 Issues in Trucking six times over the past ten years. This year, respondents cited problems with the program’s data quality, peer group assignments, and Crash Preventability Program as reasons for selecting CSA as a top issue.
Learn more about CSA scoring and data.
#3: Truck Parking
Truck parking has made the top 10 issues list every year since its first appearance in 2012. This year, 44% of respondents indicated that truck parking was “somewhat harder” or “much harder” to find during the pandemic.
#2: Driver Compensation
Many drivers who responded to this year’s survey indicated that they believe the driver shortage and compensation are inextricably linked and the only solution to recruiting and retaining drivers is to increase pay or modify compensation models. This is despite the fact that the ATA’s latest Driver Compensation Study saw pay among truckload solo van drivers increase by $6,000 since 2017.
Learn more about ensuring financial security for your drivers.
#1: Driver Shortage
For the fourth year in a row, the driver shortage is the trucking industry’s top overall concern. Though the pandemic-induced recession in early 2020 led driver turnover among large truckload carriers to fall to 82%, its lowest level since 2018, ATRI stated that early indicators are showing a return to the levels experienced in 2019.
Learn more about recruiting and retaining the best drivers.
The Tool You Need to Address These Concerns
While the trucking industry faces many challenges, individual fleets can overcome them using innovative new tools to implement effective changes to their processes.
The Idelic Safety Suite® is the truck industry’s premier driver management platform and has enabled fleets to revolutionize their processes by consolidating all third-party systems under a single platform. In doing so, Safety Suite has helped driver managers administer training, ensure compliance, and regularly engage with their drivers, giving them the critical piece of the driver management puzzle they were missing.
Using Safety Suite, fleets have addressed the industry’s top issues and simplifying fleet safety. If you’d like to learn more about how your fleet can combat the driver shortage, increase retention, and reduce insurance costs, watch a 2-minute demo here.