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The Trucking Industry’s Top Ten Economy remains top concern


For the third year in a row, the nation’s

economy ranked first in the trucking industry’s list of top concerns. The annual ranking of top industry issues is done each year by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) on behalf of the American Trucking Associations and the 50 state trucking associations. ATRI’s survey of over 4,000 industry stakeholders not only asks respondents to rank the priority of critical industry issues but also to identify and prioritize strategies to deal with each issue. Despite eight quarters of growth in the

U.S. Gross Domestic Product since the recession technically ended in June 2009, many are concerned about the prospect


of a double-dip recession. Unemployment still hovers around 9 percent and worry over the fragility of the economic recovery is exacerbated by an unsettling barrage of bad financial news in Europe, threats to global oil supplies in the Middle East and northern Africa, and a gridlocked domestic political climate. The situation for the trucking industry is aggravated by further uncertainty surrounding the impacts of a delayed transportation bill and pending regulatory changes. Since ATRI started the annual industry

survey in 2005, no one issue has retained the top spot for more than a year until the economy rose to number one in 2009 and it hasn’t left the top spot since. But, there may be some hope, or at least optimism, on the

ISSUE 6, 2011 |

horizon. Just under one-third of the survey respondents ranked the economy as their top issue in 2011, down from 51 percent ranking the issue first in 2009. While it has remained in the top five

since 2005, this year concern over the pending changes to the Hours-of-Service rules propelled the issue to number two on the survey, up from number four in 2010 and number five in 2009. With FMCSA missing its deadline to publish the new rule by October 28, 2011, the industry will continue wait and watch In what some might say is a sign of

economic recovery, the driver shortage rose this year to the number three concern for the industry. In 2009, at the height of the recession, the driver shortage did not even


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