Trucking Industry Recruitment: Concerns on the Horizon for Trucking in 2024

With the trucking industry facing challenge after challenge the last few years, many have expectantly waited on the American Transportation Research Institute’s report on what to expect for 2024.  After their yearly meeting in the fall of this year, the nineteenth annual Top Industry Issues report has seen many changes from last year.  Below, we are going to delve into this and see what is on the horizon for trucking next year!

ATRI’s Top Industry Issue

For almost twenty years, (this is number nineteen, to be exact) ATRI has been publishing the trends they have found throughout the year that will impact the next year’s truck driving landscape.  With over 4,000 transportation stakeholders surveyed for their research, they show many of the concerns that truck drivers, motor carrier management teams, and, for the first time, law enforcement personnel have for the future.  Industry professionals understand that this information is invaluable when it comes to planning and moving forward, and this year’s report shows that there is the potential for some slow growth next year, after the ups and downs of this one.    

While the list of concerns might seem extensive and varied for some, the president of the ATRI, Rebecca Brewster, summed up the biggest issue as being the “economy.”  People from all sides of the trucking industry understand that economic pressures push trucking from all sides.  Last year, the economy was only ranked at number five on the list, but, this year, it rose back up to the top of the pile.  The reasons for this include inflation, rising diesel prices, decreasing amounts of freight, and a push for higher wages have made it cost transportation companies over $2 per mile to have trucks travel from place to place while delivering their goods.  On top of this, with the government seemingly threatening to shut down every couple of months and the re-start of student loan payments, the economy is still on shaky ground and will be for the foreseeable future. 

Along with the ATRI report, Freightwaves has also released a report about the number of freight loads available and how much it is costing to transport them.  Some data from the Freightwaves SONAR data shows that, economically, conditions have been improving slowly since mid-May of this year, but that full corrections will take a great deal longer.  Freightwaves also indicates that bigger problems are in store for freight brokers than anyone else.  Some firms, like Surge Transportation out of Jacksonville, FL, have already declared bankruptcy and have gone out of business due to the shrinking profit margins for these types of businesses.  While carriers themselves should prepare for higher freight volume and rates, Freightwaves states that these changes probably will not occur until second quarter next year.  Therefore, it is no surprise that the economy topped the list of concerns for the trucking industry for 2024 for both Freightwaves and ATRI.  It is possible that it will remain at the top of the list next year as well. 

Other Than the Economy, What Else Is There?

While the issues dealing with the economy make up the bulk of the ATRI report, there are also some other interesting tidbits.  For the first time ever, Zero-emission vehicles have appeared as a concern on the list.  With the federal government pushing for more ZEVs on the road, drivers and carriers alike are concerned about their performance and maintenance, as well as the lack of a charging infrastructure nationwide for trucks like this.  Also, it is important to note that by asking law enforcement for their opinions on the concerns for trucking in 2023, there is a focus on safety, for both commercial and personal drivers.

Even though the nation is still in “peak” freight season, at least from now until the holidays are over, all of these concerns can be daunting to try and deal with for carriers, drivers, and law enforcement.  Join us next month when we leave what worries the trucking industry and dive into the new, exciting developments coming for the profession in 2024!

Carriers’ Top Ten Issues of 2023

  1. Economy
  2. Driver Shortage
  3. Lawsuit Abuse Reform
  4. Driver Retention
  5. Fuel Prices
  6. Insurance Cost/Availability
  7. Zero-emission Vehicles
  8. Truck Parking
  9. Diesel Technician Shortage
  10. Driver Distraction

Drivers’ Top Ten Issues of 2023

  1. Driver Compensation
  2. Truck Parking
  3. Fuel Prices
  4. Speed Limiters
  5. Detention/Delay at Customer Facilities
  6. Driver Training Standards
  7. Economy
  8. Broker Issues
  9. ELD Mandate
  10. Autonomous Trucks

Law Enforcement’s Top Three Issues

  1. Driver Distraction
  2. Hours of Service Rules
  3. Driver Training Standards           


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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