ATRI’s Annual Top Industry Issues Survey Underway

Getty Image of a truck driver in his cab
According to ATRI's 2021 report, concerns over the driver shortage garnered more than four times as many first-place votes as the No. 2 issue. (vitpho/Getty Images)

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The American Transportation Research Institute has launched its annual Top Industry Issues Survey, asking stakeholders to rank their top concerns along with potential strategies for addressing them.

In its 18th year, the 2022 survey not only ranks the issues overall but also provides insights into how critical topics are viewed differently by motor carriers and professional drivers.

The survey also allows stakeholders to monitor issues over time to better understand which ones are rising, falling and most urgent. The results will be released Oct. 22 as part of American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition in San Diego.

ATA Chairman Harold Sumerford

“ATRI’s research provides a chance for thousands of trucking industry professionals … to weigh in on the most important topics," says ATA Chairman Harold Sumerford Jr. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics) 

“The annual Top Industry Issues Survey has long been a crucial part of understanding the issues facing our country’s supply chain,” said ATA Chairman Harold Sumerford, Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines Inc. “ATRI’s research provides a chance for thousands of trucking industry professionals, from drivers to executives, to weigh in on the most important topics that affect trucking and collectively decide on the best strategies for addressing each,”

Steve Fields, an America’s Road Team captain and professional truck driver for Yellow, said, “I encourage my fellow drivers to take a few minutes and complete the Top Industry Issues Survey. Whether your top issue is truck parking, driver compensation, detention, traffic congestion or something else, it only takes a few minutes to make your voice heard and for us collectively to let the industry know what drivers are most concerned about.”

ATRI Top 3 industry issues graphic

The survey ( will remain open through Oct 7.

Last year, for the fifth year in a row, the worsening shortage of drivers led ATRI’s list of top industry concerns.

According to the 2021 ATRI report, concerns over the driver shortage garnered more than four times as many first-place votes as the No. 2 issue, driver retention. Ranking third was driver compensation, followed by lawsuit abuse reform in fourth and the lack of available truck parking in fifth. The shortage of diesel technicians made the list for the first time, landing in 10th place.

Once again, respondents are asked to select their three top choices from a list of 28 or they can offer issues that aren’t included. The sum total of points for each issue is used to generate a prioritized list of top industry concerns.

ATRI Senior Vice President Dan Murray


More than 600 responses were collected Sept. 7, the first day of the survey, ATRI Senior Vice President Dan Murray said.

“One of the most powerful aspects of the survey is that it’s an important barometer for what’s coming and what’s going, what’s rising and falling,” he said. “It also gives truckers ideas of where they should put their money. So it becomes a very important tool for us in that regard. There’s enough chaos in the marketplace right now that I think people want to vent, they want to comment.”

More than 2,500 industry stakeholders across North America weighed in with their opinions on the most important issues affecting trucking in 2021. The respondents represented motor carrier personnel, commercial truck drivers and other stakeholders.

Proposed strategies voiced by participants included advocating for expedited launch of the DRIVE Safe Act pilot program to expand interstate CDL eligibility for 18- to 20-year-olds, developing outreach initiatives targeted toward high school students and young adults and advocating for expansion of the U.S. EB-3 Permanent Work Authorization permit to recruit qualified candidates from other countries.

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