U.S. Economy Is Driving Trucking Concerns

Annual survey points to the economy as major factor in the trucking industry decline.

October 16, 2023

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its annual report on identifying leading concerns in the trucking industry, according to a ATRI press release.

Topping the list this year were the economy, truck parking, fuel prices and the driver shortage. The report was taken from survey data of over 4,000 industry stakeholders, which this year also included law enforcement.

"ATRI's list thoroughly and accurately reflects the challenges we've faced this year," said ATA Chairman Dan Van Alstine, who is Ruan Transportation Management Systems president and COO. "Costs were up and demand was down, all while we worked to navigate a number of workforce and regulatory issues. Thankfully, ATRI's analysis doesn't just tell us what the issues are, it spells out a number of data-driven strategies that the industry can pursue to address them."

The press release notes, “In a year full of challenges including high inflation, rising operating costs and declining freight demand, the state of the nation's economy was the number one concern. The lack of available truck parking achieved its highest rank to date on the overall list, coming in second. Last year's number one issue, fuel prices, was ranked third this year. Rounding out the top five this year were the driver shortage and driver compensation. 

According to Yahoo! Finance, “Rising interest rates, higher diesel and maintenance costs, increasing pay for truckers and rising insurance premiums drove the operating cost of a truck to $2.25 per mile in 2022. That’s the first time it has exceeded $2 in history, according to ATRI’s analysis.”

NACS Daily reported earlier in the summer that century-old trucking company Yellow had to shut its doors due to lingering debts and a struggling economy.