Stubborn Economy, Hours-of-Service Changes Top List of Concerns in Annual Trucking Industry Survey

October 17, 2011
Contact: Rebecca Brewster

Grapevine, TX – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, today unveiled its list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry.

The state of the economy tops the list for the third consecutive year in ATRI’s survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry executives. The complete results were released at the 2011 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) meeting in Grapevine, TX – the nation’s largest gathering of motor carrier executives. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.

The proposed changes to federal commercial driver Hours-of-Service rules caused that issue to climb in this year’s survey to the number two spot. In contrast to concerns over the economy, a driver shortage is affecting parts of the industry, causing that issue to rise to the third position on the list. While many stakeholders believe that the impacts of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) program may be a contributing factor to the driver shortage, a growing understanding and acceptance of CSA led it to drop two places to number four on the list.

The ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will be utilized by the ATA Federation to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA Federation stakeholders.

“ATRI’s annual survey of industry concerns provides ATA, and all of trucking, a blueprint for identifying the top issues we need to take up with our elected leaders and policymakers across the country,” said ATA Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and CEO of Hahn Transportation Inc.

“As we navigate these increasingly challenging times, it is critical for our industry leaders to advocate for policies that make it easier for them to deliver life’s essentials safely and efficiently,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “In order to be effective advocates, we must base our arguments in sound research and in common sense. The results of ATRI’s survey not only give us the tools to do that, but should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers nationwide.”

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system. A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI at

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