According to the American Transportation Research Institute‘s (ATRI) annual Top Industry Issues report, for the third year in a row, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issue for trucking fleets, as they struggle to recruit and retain qualified drivers.
The hours-of-service rules held on to the No. 2 issue in the survey for a second consecutive year, reflecting the industry’s call for additional flexibility in the rules, particularly the sleeper berth provision, ATRI says.
Two new issues appeared on this year’s list for the first time, ones that also impact the industry’s ability to recruit and retain qualified drivers: driver compensation and detention/delay at customer facilities. Driver compensation ranked third overall and represents two sides to a complex issue; motor carriers who have raised driver pay significantly over the past year in response to the driver shortage and drivers who are concerned that their pay has not kept pace with inflation, ATRI says. Driver detention at customer facilities, making its debut at No. 4 on this year’s list, reflects growing concern over excessive delays that create cascading impacts for drivers’ hours-of-service compliance, compensation, and ability to find safe, available truck parking.
The lack of available truck parking rounds out the top five issues on this year’s list, but ranks third among commercial driver respondents after compensation and HOS rules.