ATRI's Top 10 Trucking Industry Concerns

Nov 9, 2022

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released a report of the top 10 critical issues currently affecting the trucking industry, according to a survey of carriers and professional drivers.

Here are the top 10 concerns:

  1. Fuel Prices: The last time fuel costs made the top 10 list was in 2013 when it ranked eighth overall, but record-high diesel prices in 2022 have left fleets of all sizes trying to identify new ways to cut costs.

  2. Driver Shortage: For the first time in six years, the driver shortage dropped to the number two spot on ATRI’s list. According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry’s current shortage of 78,000 drivers could grow to over 160,000 by 2030.

  3. Truck Parking: The lack of available truck parking is now affecting driver recruitment and retention. The truck parking issue is gaining traction with federal leaders.

  4. Driver Compensation: Many believe that the driver shortage, driver retention, and driver compensation are linked and that pay increases are needed across the board, especially when other competing industries offer preferred options like being home every night. The industry has steadily been raising driver pay for the last several years.

  5. Economy: With inflation, equipment and parts shortages, record-high fuel prices, and continued wage pressures, the economy is back as the fifth ranked industry concern this year.

  6. Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities: Detention/delay at customer facilities continues to be a pervasive issue for drivers. According to ATRI, “the increase in delays creates cascading impacts for drivers as their available hours-of-service are wasted.”

  7. Driver Retention: Driver retention is critical during a driver shortage, and carriers are always seeking improved retention strategies. ATRI asked drivers in separate research about what led them to choose this career, and 83 percent of company drivers and 90.4 percent of owner operators and independent contractors said that income potential was the motivating factor.

  8. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA): The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented multiple systemic changes over the years to address CSA concerns. However, its placement on this list indicates the mixed reviews of the FMCSA’s safety measurement system, first implemented in 2010.

  9. Speed Limiters: Speed limiters have been an issue of concern for several years, and in this year’s survey, drivers ranked speed limiters as their fifth overall top concern. Earlier this year, FMCSA issued a Notice of Intent to move forward with a speed limiter rulemaking in 2023.

  10. Lawsuit Abuse Reform: Truck insurance costs have risen 47 percent over the past 10 years, according to an ATRI study on insurance costs. This is the third year in a row that Lawsuit Abuse Reform, formally referred to as tort reform, has ranked in the top 10.

Due to different day-to-day experiences, the responses of commercial drivers and motor carriers differ. Carriers are more concerned with hiring and retaining drivers, navigating insurance and lawsuit abuse issues, and maintaining good financial performance, whereas drivers are understandably more concerned with their health, safety, and regulations that may impact their pay and daily activities.

The following chart breaks down the top 10 concerns for both groups:





Truck Parking

Driver Shortage


Fuel Prices

Driver Retention


Driver Compensation

Fuel Prices


Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities



Speed Limiters




Lawsuit Abuse Reform


HOS Rules

Insurance Cost/Availability


ELD Mandate

Diesel Technician Shortage


Driver Training Standards

Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities


Transportation Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding

Truck Parking


You can view the full ATRI report here.

The Ruan Approach

To better serve our customers, Ruan’s dedicated teams stay abreast of all regulations. We have several leaders serving on the boards of ATA, ATRI, and Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA) that help lobby for policies and keep us and our customers updated. Navigating these issues and policies and achieving compliance drains resources for businesses that are not full-time transporters. As a premier provider of Integrated Supply Chain Solutions, Ruan is equipped to handle regulatory changes and compliance, saving our customers headaches and manpower. 

Ruan's driver retention rate is currently three times better than the industry average, and many of our truck drivers have been with the company for 10, 20, or even 30 years. As part of our People First Guiding Principle and strategic priority to be a great place to work, Ruan places a high value on maintaining predictable schedules and ensuring a healthy work-life balance for all team members. In addition, our Megasafe culture and Safety Focus Guiding Principle contribute to high morale.

Insuring a fleet of trucks is expensive and is almost always accompanied by high deductibles. Switching to Ruan’s Dedicated Contract Transportation solution shelters your organization from these costs. We diligently train team members on safe practices, Department of Transportation (DOT) policies, and specific Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and requirements. By allocating more resources to training, Ruan is able to develop safer and more efficient drivers, which reduces insurance claims and holds down costs.

With the current regulatory focus and the ongoing driver shortage, many shippers are taking the opportunity to focus on their core competencies. Selecting an expert partner like Ruan to provide transportation and logistics services results in improvements in all aspects of the shipping experience. Our customers rely on Ruan’s Dedicated Contract Transportation and Managed Transportation solutions so they can do what they do best—focusing on their core business model. Our longtime partners capitalize on Ruan’s ongoing investment in equipment, drivers, service centers, and the latest technologies in everything from supply chain optimization to on-truck and in-cab technologies. By partnering with Ruan, most companies are able to lower risk, reduce overheads, and free up capital. 

Ruan delivers these benefits because transportation is our core competency. We always have our thumb on the industry's pulse, allowing us to stay ahead of the curve.

Contact us today for a free transportation spend analysis at or (866) 782-6669, or complete this simple online form.