Did you have a chance to attend our recent webinar, “ATRI’s Top Industry Issues in 2020 - and How to Successfully Navigate Them”? We received more questions than we had time to answer in the allotted time frame, so Rebecca Brewster, President and COO of ATRI, answered them below in this Q&A-style blog post.If you weren’t able to join the live webinar, don’t worry – you can watch it on-demand anytime!
Question: How different do you think the results of the survey would have been if it was conducted in May versus June or September?
Answer: Certainly at the initial weeks of the pandemic – as states were shuttering businesses and freight demand was impacted – I’m not sure we would have seen the Driver Shortage as the number one issue. Similarly, I think we would have seen COVID-19 crack the top 10 as the industry grappled with the various pandemic impacts on their operations. However, fast-forward to September when we did launch the survey, freight demand was back up, drivers were in short supply, and COVID-19 as an issue only reached #13 in the overall ranking.
Question: Have we studied company hire rates, in relationship to what they offer in compensation?
Answer: One of the strategies identified for addressing the #2 issue on the survey – Driver Compensation – is to do just that, quantify the relationship between driver compensation models and driver satisfaction and productivity. It’s a research topic that has been discussed by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee and I would expect it to come up again in 2021 as a potential research topic.
Question: How will the Clearinghouse affect the driver shortage, when state laws and federal laws differ so much?
Answer: The growing decriminalization of marijuana by states will have an impact on our workforce as potential new entrants can legally use marijuana in their state, but a positive pre-employment or random test recorded in the Clearinghouse will essentially knock them out of the industry.
Question: Regarding infrastructure, do you foresee this being something the incoming administration tackles up front?
Answer: There are indications that the incoming administration will focus on infrastructure early on. ATRI research has quantified the jobs growth that would come from increasing the fuel tax to generate those infrastructure dollars and clearly that would be an early win for the new administration.
Question: Can you speak to the ranking of driver training as an industry issue?
Answer: We have heard anecdotally from professional drivers that they do not believe the training standards for new entrants do a thorough job of preparing new drivers to operate a commercial vehicle. As such, this is the second year that drivers have ranked Driver Training Standards as one of their top 10 issues.
Question: Is it possible to support ATRI’s work in the trucking industry? If I were interested in a donation, how can I do that?
Answer: All of ATRI’s research is supported through charitable contributions from the industry and it’s easy to give. Just visit ATRI’s website at https://truckingresearch.org/about-atri/support-atri/ where you can indicate your contribution amount and make the payment by credit card or we can issue an invoice for you.
Question: I’m interested in the other reports and resources that ATRI puts out throughout the year; where can I find this information?
Answer: All of ATRI’s research is available at no cost on our website at TruckingResearch.org. The studies are grouped by Research Hot Topic covering the industry’s top issues.
Stay up to date on CDL trucking trends! Be sure to check out the DriverReach blog for other relevant articles and head over to our webinars page for an up-to-date list of upcoming events and on-demand recordings.
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