Annual reports spotlight industry trends and topics

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 The nation’s largest trucking association, which represents more than 35,000 truck drivers nationwide, this month released its annual “Trends” report on trucking trends, showing that the past year was one for the record books in terms of industry revenue and the total number of trucks on the road.

“In many ways, 2015 was a good year for our industry, and ‘Trends’ clearly demonstrates that,” says Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations, which is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry that moves most of the nation’s freight.

“According to our data, trucking revenues topped $700 billion for a second straight year, setting an all-time record of $726.4 billion in 2015, while trucks moved more than 10 billion tons of freight,” says ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “While the first half of 2016 has been challenging for the industry, trucking is coming off two very strong years and we are optimistic about the future.”

Some highlights of the 2016 “Trends” report:

  • Trucking collected $726.4 billion in gross freight revenues, 81.5 percent of the nation’s freight bill in 2015.
  • Trucks carried 10.49 tons of freight in 2015, accounting for 70.1 percent of domestic freight tonnage.
  • In 2015, there were 3.63 million Class 8 trucks in operation.

Also this summer, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, launched the 2016 Top Industry Issues Survey.

The ATRI, part of the ATA, is the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization. It conducts ongoing research into myriad topics such as integrated corridor management, driver perspectives on sleep apnea, healthier highways, and behavior of automobile drivers.

The 2016 Top Industry Issues Survey asks trucking industry stakeholders to rank the top issues of concern for the industry along with appropriate strategies for addressing each issue.

Respondents were asked to select the top issues from among 29 topics, such as driver distraction, regulations addressing hours of service, truck security/cargo theft, infrastructure congestion/funding, and the national driver shortage.

Results of the survey will be released at the ATA’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition this October in Las Vegas.

Last year’s survey ranked these as the 10 most critical issues facing the trucking industry:

  1. Hours of service
    2. CSA (compliance/safety/accountability)
    3. Driver shortage
    4. Driver retention
    5. Truck parking
    6. ELD (electronic logging device) rules
    7. Driver health/wellness
    8. Economy
    9. Infrastructure/Congestion/Funding
    10. Driver distraction

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