Annual List of Top 10 Biggest Trucking Industry Concerns Revealed

Nashville, TN — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has once again released its annual list of the ten top issues concerning trucking stakeholders.

ATRI unveiled the findings of its 2021 Top Industry Issues Survey over the weekend at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual convention being held this year in Nashville, TN.


Over 2,500 industry stakeholders across North America weighed in with their opinions on the most important issues affecting the trucking industry and the broader supply chain.

The respondents represented motor carrier personnel (52.4%), commercial drivers (24.1%), and other industry stakeholders (23.5%), including industry suppliers, driver trainers, and law enforcement.

#1 Driver Shortage

For the fifth consecutive year, the so-called “Driver Shortage” came in at the top of the list.

In fact, concerns over a shortage of drivers received more than four times as many first-place votes as the next issue.


The release of ATRI’s survey results came on the heels of ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello’s updated projection that the shortage worsened in the last year.

Costello now estimates the number of drivers needed is 80,000, and if nothing is done to adequately address the issue, it will likely ballon to 160,000 within the next decade.

#2 Driver Retention

Retaining drivers rose four positions to become the second most critical issue overall this year.

According to ATA research, driver turnover at large truckload fleets was 92% at the end of 2020, while the churn rate for smaller truckload carriers dipped two percentage points from 2019 to 72%.


#3 Driver Compensation

Among motor carrier respondents, 15% ranked driver compensation as one of their top three industry concerns.

Specifically, according to ATRI, respondents questioned the “sustainability of continually raising driver pay” as a means to mitigate the challenges of attracting and retaining its driving workforce.

#4 Lawsuit Abuse Reform

Lawsuit Abuse Reform (previously referred to as Tort Reform in prior years’ surveys) rose three spots this year to become the fourth highest issue of concern.

ATRI’s 2020 Nuclear Verdicts study documented a 967% increase in average verdict size between 2010 and 2018.


#5 Truck Parking

For the tenth consecutive year, a shortage of truck parking made ATRI’s list.

The issue consistently ranks highly among truckers as a top concern.

Trucking stakeholders were encouraged earlier this year when the U.S. House of Representatives passed infrastructure funding legislation which included $1 billion for construction of truck parking along America’s interstate system.


Inexplicably, that funding has since been stripped out of the bill in negotiations with the Senate.

Even as Congress debates the details of President Biden’s unprecedented nearly $5 trillion “Build Back Better” infrastructure and social spending spree, as it currently stands, not one cent of the plans include new parking projects for truckers.


Rounding out the Top 10 list of this year’s industry concerns (in order) includes: the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) measurement system, Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities, Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding, Insurance Cost/Availability, and Diesel Technician Shortage.

Notably, this is the first year that the Diesel Technician Shortage has been ranked as a top-10 issue.

Click HERE to access ATRI’s entire report.

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