More than 2000 trucking industry executives studied the main issues that United States truckers face. The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) announced these issues in the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition held October 16 in Boston.
Among the issues that made the list were trucking security, environmental protection, insurance costs and the lack of drivers; but the leading concerns were the high cost of diesel and highway congestion.
According to Jim Stanley, chairman of the ATRI, the results of their studies also proposed strategies that will help the American Trucking Associations (ATA) focus in taking a larger role in defense of the U.S. trucking industry.
Every issue has a certain level of complexity that tends to change constantly. The ATRI information is invaluable because it can determine which problem matters the most to motor carriers and the solutions that the ATA should seek.
The rise in oil prices caused a record increase in the price of diesel. With the outcome of hurricanes Katrina and Rita prices exceeded $3 a gallon.
Highway congestion comes from the misuse of federal highway funds which disables the states abilities to build new highways. Bill Graves, president of the American Trucking Associations said that: Since 1980, highway traffic has doubled, but highway capacity has increased only 3 percent. Todays highways are choked with traffic. Todays economy demands more trucks to haul more freight.
Analysts predicted that in 2016 the trucking industry will transport 13 billion tons of freight, 3 billion more than in 2004 when truckers hauled 10 billion tons.