Economy, CSA 2010 top trucking’s list of concerns

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The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, on Sunday, Oct. 17, unveiled its list of the top 10 critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. The state of the economy tops the list in ATRI’s survey of more than 4,000 trucking industry executives.

The complete results were released at the 2010 Management Conference and Exhibition of the American Trucking Associations meeting in Phoenix. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also solicited and tabulated specific strategies for addressing each issue.

Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new regulatory framework for evaluating carrier and driver safety, debuted on the list in a close second to the economy this year. Government regulation, which was the second most pressing issue last year, remained near the top of the list (No. 3). The driver shortage returned to the top 10 list this year (No. 5), a sign that carriers have a growing concern over finding enough drivers to meet increased freight demand as the economy rebounds.

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.

“ATRI’s annual survey gives us a clear roadmap of the strategies we collectively need to pursue as an industry,” says ATA Chairman Tommy Hodges 0f Titan Transfer, based in Shelbyville, Tenn.

Also making the list of top 10 concerns are hours of service (No. 4), fuel issues (No. 6), transportation funding/infrastructure (No. 7), onboard truck technology (No. 8), environmental issues (No. 9) and truck size and weight (No. 10).

“It is vital for the trucking industry to stay abreast of the issues and policies that have a profound impact on how we move America’s freight safely and efficiently,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “Not only must we be prepared to support initiatives that are based on well-founded research and thought, but we must also be ready to vigorously debate initiatives which lack research and practicality.”