Economy tops annual survey of critical trucking issues

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The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, on Monday, Oct. 5, unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. The state of the nation’s economy tops the list in ATRI’s survey of more than 5,000 trucking industry executives.

The complete results were released at the 2009 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.

Government regulation, which has been on a steady climb since the inaugural survey in 2005, came in as the No. 2 most pressing issue this year. In addition to the economy and government regulation, other top 10 issues include fuel, congestion, hours-of-service and the environment, among others. Truck size and weight appeared for the first time in the 2009 survey as a key productivity issue that many industry stakeholders feel must be addressed.

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. “The annual ATRI survey proves invaluable in helping us chart a course of action for the future,” says ATA Chairman Charles “Shorty” Whittington of Grammer Industries, based in Grammer, Ind.

“On every legislative and regulatory topic, issues come and go so quickly today,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “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.”

ATRI, the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization, 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