Trucking Workforce Issues Top the List of Industry Concerns


Contact:  Rebecca Brewster

(404) 247-8787

October 24, 2021

Nashville, Tennessee – Today, the American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, released its 17th annual Top Industry Issues report, identifying a number of the industry’s key concerns including the driver shortage, driver retention, driver compensation, lawsuit abuse reform, truck parking and for the first time, the shortage of diesel technicians.

“The ATRI list of top industry issues provides a critical snapshot of the challenges impacting our industry at any given moment,” said ATA Chair Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, president and CEO of Garner Trucking, “and this year is no exception as supply chain constraints dominate the nation’s headlines.  ATRI’s annual analysis not only captures the industry’s sentiment on the criticality of each of these issues but also maps out a course for addressing each through the stakeholder-ranked strategies.”

For the fifth year in a row, the Driver Shortage topped the list of industry concerns, garnering more than four times as many first-place votes as the number two issue, Driver Retention.  Further reflecting the industry’s workforce challenges, Driver Compensation was ranked third overall.  Lawsuit Abuse Reform rose three spots this year to take the number four spot and the lack of available Truck Parking rounded out the top five industry concerns.  The Diesel Technician Shortage made the top-10 list for the first time this year, as the 10th ranked most critical issue in the industry. 

Nearly 25 percent of the survey respondents were professional truck drivers and among driver respondents, Driver Compensation and Truck Parking tied for the number one industry concern.  Detention / Delay at Customer Facilities was ranked by drivers as their second most pressing concern.

More than 2,500 trucking industry stakeholders participated in this year’s survey, including motor carriers, drivers, industry suppliers, driver trainers, law enforcement, and others. 

“This year’s large response shows just how serious our industry is about identifying the most critical concerns and more importantly, figuring out how we collectively deal with each issue,” said ATRI President and COO Rebecca Brewster.

“It really is no surprise that truck driver-related issues – notably the driver shortage and driver retention – ranked so high on the survey. Coming out of the pandemic, with the increased demand for goods and other pressures on the supply chain, getting and keeping drivers has been a real challenge industrywide,” Brewster said. “We also see the impacts of the current supply chain crunch in how highly issues like driver compensation, truck parking, infrastructure and driver detention ranked on the list.”

The complete results of the annual survey were released as part of 2021 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition. The full report can be found at ATRI’s website – here.

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.

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