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Trucking sees challenges as they are: Opportunities to improve

The other day, a colleague of mine got an email from an industry supplier sharing its ideas on the challenges facing by the trucking industry today. Around the same time the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released its Critical Issues In The Trucking Industry — 2019.

The issues cited by that supplier, East Penn Manufacturing, were broader based than the ones from ATRI whose list included very specific items.

The ATRI had a Top 10 List that included:

  • Driver shortage
  • Hours of service
  • Driver compensation
  • Detention/delay at customer facilities
  • Truck parking
  • Driver retention
  • ELD mandate
  • CSA
  • Transportation infrastructure/congestion/funding
  • The economy

The East Penn list focused on:

  • The need for operational efficiency
  • Changes to truck design and specs
  • The impact of climate change
  • Technology as an enabler
  • The importance of keeping drivers and technicians happy

Those are some pretty tough challenges we face, but I am not discouraged by these lists. Since its inception, the trucking industry has faced myriad challenges and we have proven to be extremely resilient. The trucking industry is full of some very bright, creative thinkers.

Trucking also tends to be collaborative — it is one of many things I like most about being a part of this industry. When people find something that works, they often will share their findings. Oh sure, we all want “the secret sauce” that gives us a competitive advantage, so we may not share every last thing, but more often than not, discoveries are shared to make the whole industry better.

Some people are intimidated by challenges, but I think those of us who have been in trucking for any length of time see challenges for what they are — opportunities to improve. While we may not conquer all of the challenges on the list, I am 100% confident we will make headway on most of them.

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