Driver Shortage Once Again Top Concern in ATRI’s Annual Survey (and Other Key Takeaways)

If you’re entering 2019 worrying about new challenges and concerns in the trucking industry, you’re not alone: the CDL driver shortage was ranked the #1 concern in the industry for the second year in a row according to a recent ATRI survey.

The survey, which is conducted annually, includes both drivers and carriers, giving industry leaders a well-rounded glimpse into how those with boots on the ground in the trucking industry feel about various hot topics.

The driver shortage, which was ranked as the #1 concern for carriers and #9 for drivers, has cast a large shadow over the industry in recent years and it’s not going away any time soon. The driver shortage has led to increased competition in the industry and is forcing driver recruiters to find new, innovative ways to attract and retain drivers.

Luckily, the survey also introduced a few proposed solutions to the problems from both carriers and drivers alike, most of which included an increased focus on Millennial and Gen Z drivers:

  • A renewed interest and spotlight on the DRIVE-Safe Act

  • The ongoing expansion of apprenticeship and training programs

  • The collection and analysis of driver data, insights, and performance metrics

Other important takeaways from the survey include:

A growing discrepancy between drivers and carriers on industry issues
Because the survey included responses from both carriers and drivers, industry leaders are able to see how the two different audiences view industry-wide issues. Drivers ranked parking as the #2 issue, which of course, for drivers, is a huge, everyday pain. Carriers, on the other hand, who are concerned with putting more trucks on the road, ranked parking as #9. The disconnect between these two numbers mirrors the disconnect between the audiences.

To stay in touch with their drivers and deliver driver-focused solutions, CDL driver recruiters can begin to adopt a driver-centric approach to the application and recruiting processes. Every part of the process from how a website is set up to how recruiters follow up with applicants to how social media connects drivers on the road can be improved and optimized.

Driver retention is still a huge issue
Driver retention was the #4 issue for drivers and the #2 issue for carriers, cementing it as a lasting issue in the eyes of the industry. Thanks to long hours, a poor public stigma, and the aforementioned competition in the marketplace, drivers aren’t sticking around like they used to. This is where delivering an amazing driver experience will most certainly help. Create a true community for your drivers with social media, collaborative communication solutions, and more. Don’t leave drivers out there on their own – be a part of their driving experience so they want to be a part of your organization.  

Mandates and regulations will take center stage in 2019
Other parts of the survey focused on federal mandates and regulations, including the ELD mandate and the Hours of Service. These issues ranked high for both drivers and carriers, so don’t be surprised if you see more reports and content on these regulations coming out in the next few months.

Interested in learning more about the survey results? You’re in luck! Be sure to attend our free upcoming webinar “What Your Drivers Want You to Know” with ATRI President Rebecca Brewster.

Webinar: What Your Drivers Want You to Know
Date: Thursday, December 13th 2018
Time: 2:00 PM EST

Set your team up for success in 2019 and beyond
Now that you have a good idea of the issues facing the industry, it’s time to reinforce your processes and workflows to thrive in the new year. Schedule a personal consultation with a DriverReach specialist to see where technology and innovation can help set you up for success in the months to come.


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