ATRI unveils list of top 10 trucking issues

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The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, has unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing U.S. truckers. The high cost of diesel fuel and the driver shortage were the leading issues in ATRI’s survey of more than 2,000 trucking industry executives.

The complete results were released Tuesday, Oct. 18 in Boston at the 2005 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations, the nation’s largest gathering of motor carrier executives. ATRI also solicited and tabulated strategies for addressing each issue.

Making the top 10 with diesel fuel costs and the driver shortage were insurance costs, hours of service, tolls and highway funding, tort reform, regulatory redundancy/costs, congestion, environmental issues and security.

In a process adopted by current Chairman Steve Williams (Maverick Transportation, Little Rock, Ark.) and incoming Chairman Patrick Quinn (U.S. Xpress, Chattanooga, Tenn.), the ATA-commissioned survey results and proposed strategies will allow the ATA to better focus its advocacy role on behalf of the U.S. trucking industry and ATA member motor carriers.

“Given the complex and fast-changing array of issues facing us,” said ATRI Chairman Jim Staley (YRC Regional Transportation, Akron, Ohio), “it is more important than ever that we are proactive on what matters. The ATRI survey information is invaluable in telling us what is important to motor carriers and which strategies ATA should pursue on their behalf.”

“On every legislative and regulatory topic, issues come and go so quickly today,” said Doug Duncan (FedEx Freight, Memphis, Tenn.), incoming ATRI Chairman. “If we’re not at the table with sound, science-based information and a common sense plan of action, then we’re going to get left behind, and saddled with solutions that have no bearing on moving America’s freight safely and efficiently.”