The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), a not-for-profit trucking industry research institute, unveiled its top ten industry issues report, headed by the driver shortage in the top spot.
The significant need for qualified drivers to meet the nation’s growing freight demand surged six spots in the annual survey to top the list of concerns this year. Among the top strategies recommended by industry stakeholders to address the driver shortage include working with state and federal authorities to develop a graduated commercial driver’s license program to attract safe, younger drivers to the industry, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to formalize a national driver recruitment program.
Dropping one position from its top ranking last year, the upcoming Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate ranked second on the overall list but was number one among commercial driver respondents to the survey. Despite FMCSA’s issuance of a final ruling on the hours-of-service rules earlier this year to permanently remove the more restrictive 34-hour restart provisions, the HOS rules remained a top concern in the number three spot on the list as motor carriers and drivers look for increased flexibility in the rules.
The lack of available truck parking held its fourth place overall but moved up to the number two issue for commercial drivers. Rounding out the top five overall on this year’s list is driver retention.
“Identifying the right mix of partners and strategies to effectively address the driver shortage is one of our top goals for the industry” said ATA President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Spear. “ATA and its federation partners rely on ATRI’s annual analysis to ensure we successfully navigate the important issues now and into the future.”
In view of the driver shortage, Fleet Equipment named driver retention features as the Truck Trend of the Year in 2016. Click here to read the full story.