For the past 17 years, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released its yearly report on the top issues facing the transportation industry.
The annual report is based on ATRI's vigorous surveying system, a cumulation of responses from truck drivers, motor carriers and other industry stakeholders. Each respondent ranks their top three concerns from a list of 30 pre-determined topics – along with their top three preferred approaches to address each main issue head on.
ATRI recently released the 2021 edition of its annual report – based on over 2,500 total responses. While it's no secret that 2021 has been a year full of even more unprecedented challenges and issues than the last, there are some key findings from the 2021 ATRI report that stand out, including:
Help Wanted: Driver demand top the charts, again.
Anyone surprised? It's been a hot topic since…forever. An aging pool of drivers are retiring, and fewer young drivers are entering the field to backfill those roles. This dilemma is only made more arduous by burdensome regulations, and so on. The driver shortage topped the list for its fifth consecutive year, but this year with close to half of the total share of votes, doubling since years prior. Following the shortage are two issues that one might say fuels it: driver retention (ranked second) and driver compensation (ranked third).
Penske's work with the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and its annual State of Logistics Report has touched on the crunch for drivers going as far back as 2010. NBC Nightly News recently noted the trucking industry is short approximately 80,000 drivers, citing the American Trucking Associations.
Diesel technician shortage gets real.
Five years ago, ATRI deemed the deficiency of vocational workers an emerging Issue. On this year's list the topic has alarmingly ranked in the top ten for the first time ever, in 10th place. The scarcity of diesel technicians will likely continue to rise because of today's climate of the tech shortage in combination with supply chain demands.
A previous 2020 report by the TechForce Foundation, which works to help attract the next generation of technicians, shows the industry needs nearly 642,000 new auto and diesel technicians over the next 10 years to meet demand. The report cited both increasing demand for professional techs and a declining supply of new techs entering the industry. The update concludes that the technician shortage is increasing in severity, despite a slight uptick in new post-secondary degrees and certificates for future diesel technicians.
Solutions for Today's Fleet Challenges
For fleet operators, the knowledge gained from ATRI's 2021 report shows a host of issues that are facing the industry. While stakeholders work to address these concerns, having an outsource strategy in place can be crucial to help your fleet mitigate the impact these issues have on performance.
Two notable advantages of outsourcing to Penske Logistics include the power to alleviate your fleet's driver management and truck maintenance concerns.
1. Dedicated Contract Carriage - Each day, Penske Logistics helps improve efficiencies through dedicated contract carriage services. As a market-leading dedicated contract carriage provider, Penske Logistics provides the trucks, safe and professional drivers, and all the supporting technologies to help ensure on-time delivery.
2. Fleet Maintenance – Trucks are increasingly complex and with technicians becoming harder to hire, fleet operators are increasingly outsourcing maintenance to Penske Truck Leasing. Penske features well-trained technicians, a network of service locations, and 24/7 over-the-road support to minimize downtime and maximize the uptime productivity of their fleets along with the added benefits of full-service leasing, commercial truck rentals, as well as used trucks, trailers and other vehicles.
Penske can help fleet operators with innovative solutions to these industry concerns. Contact us today.
By "Move Ahead" Staff