Dec 052017

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 862: Guide to Deploying Clean Truck Freight Strategies provides decision makers with a guide to assist in the potential deployment of fuel-efficient and low-emission truck freight strategies. The guide includes an analytical tool and a user manual to identify and evaluate appropriate strategies that can be deployed at the state, regional, and local levels. The guide will allow transportation practitioners to encourage the best use of the technological, operational, and infrastructure investment alternatives that mitigate truck freight impacts on criteria air pollutants, fuel efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions.

You may either download a pdf, view it online or purchase a hardcopy from TRB’s website, all by clicking the arrow underneath the image of the book below.

Nov 082017

Contact: Dan Murray
(651) 641-6162
November 8, 2017

 Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released its much anticipated assessment of the nation’s transportation investment options.  The report entitled A Framework for Infrastructure Funding concludes that the only meaningful mechanism for attaining the administration’s vision for a large-scale infrastructure program is through a federal fuel tax increase.  The inefficiency of other mechanisms, including mileage-based user fees and increased tolling, will fall far short of the needed revenue stream without placing undue hardship on system users.

In addition, ATRI’s research documents that a federal fuel tax increase will incentivize states to generate multi-million dollar matches to the new federal funds, ultimately moving the United States closer to the infrastructure investment goals proposed by both Congress and the President.

“Maybe the most important and unexpected benefit of a federal fuel tax increase is the hundreds of thousands of new, high-paying construction jobs that will be produced,” said Dennis Dellinger, President of Cargo Transporters.  “We often assume that the only reason to raise the fuel tax is to lay more asphalt and concrete.  Forgotten in the mix is that tax revenues can simultaneously produce good roads and good jobs.”

The report further documents the consequences of continuing with the “do-nothing” option.  The federal fuel tax has not been raised in more than two decades, resulting in significant costs to system users, particularly the trucking industry.  While the trucking industry contributes more than $18 billion in federal user fees each year, growing traffic congestion and freight bottlenecks now cost the industry more than $63 billion annually.  The report also indicates that growth of e-commerce will likely slow as freight deliveries fail to meet the real-time demands of U.S. consumers.

Other key ATRI findings and recommendations include:

  • A newly created federal vehicle registration fee would be the most efficient mechanism to fill funding gaps associated with electric vehicle use. These fees could be seamlessly implemented using the same systems as those successfully used to collect state registration fees.
  • A bureaucracy as large as the IRS would be required to collect, manage and enforce a national vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax on the more than 250 million vehicles registered in the U.S. Additionally, mileage tax evasion would likely skyrocket under a program that can’t “see” non-paying users.
  • The practice of road tolling continues to be an expensive proposition for collecting highway funds. While several toll systems slightly improved their administrative efficiency, the majority of toll systems spend more than ten cents of every dollar collected on administrative activities.  Many systems are losing money, and almost all privatized toll roads in the U.S. have filed bankruptcy.  Finally, ATRI’s analysis found that many toll authorities have modified their public financial statements to increase complexity and decrease transparency of revenue management – which ultimately masks the inefficiency of toll roads.
  • In terms of secondary benefits from a fuel tax focus, ATRI’s findings suggest that every U.S. state would experience significant employment gains as a result of a 10 or 20 cent federal fuel tax increase. In total, states would receive between $15 billion and $30 billion or more annually through a federal fuel tax increase; nearly half a million jobs could be created nationwide with a 20 cent federal fuel tax increase.
  • According to the literature and public polling data, American taxpayers prefer a federal fuel tax over other funding mechanisms when the revenue is dedicated to transportation infrastructure.

“ATRI’s research corroborates what many of us have espoused in Washington DC and in every state capital: people are demanding action on transportation investment and the federal fuel tax is the ideal tool for delivering the much needed funding,” said Chris Spear, ATA President.

You can download the full report here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.  

Nov 082017

  • For A Framework for Infrastructure Funding one-page summary, click here.
  • For A Framework for Infrastructure Funding matrix of State Level Job and Revenue Creation Associated with Federal Fuel Tax Increases, click here.

For a free copy of the full report electronically, please provide the information below. Once you click the submit button, a link will appear on this page for you to download the report:

Oct 302017

Scott Mugno, ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee Chairman, has been nominated to be the next Assistant Secretary of Labor, leading the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  Scott currently serves as vice president of safety, sustainability and vehicle maintenance at FedEx Ground.  Mugno has worked for FedEx in a variety of safety-related roles since 1994 and has twice received FedEx’s highest honor, the FedEx Five Star Award, for his safety leadership at FedEx Express.

Scott has been actively involved with ATRI for more than a decade.

“Scott has always shown a commitment not only to safety, but to using good data and input to determine how best to improve safety,” said ATRI President Rebecca Brewster.  “He has repeatedly demonstrated this commitment through his involvement with ATRI and it is a trait that I know will make him a strong and fair regulator.”

ATRI congratulates Scott Mugno on his nomination to lead OSHA.

Oct 232017

Contact: Rebecca Brewster
(404) 247-8787
October 23, 2017


Orlando, Florida – The American Transportation Research Institute, the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research institute, today unveiled its top industry issues report, which includes the list of the top ten critical issues facing the North American trucking industry. For the first time since 2006, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issued.

The significant need for qualified drivers to meet the nation’s growing freight demand surged six spots in the annual survey to top the list of concerns this year. Among the top strategies recommended by industry stakeholders to address the driver shortage include working with state and federal authorities to develop a graduated commercial driver’s license program to attract safe, younger drivers to the industry, and partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to formalize a national driver recruitment program.

The complete results of the annual survey, which generated more than 1,500 responses from motor carriers and commercial drivers, were released today at the 2017 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also includes prioritized strategies for addressing each issue.

Dropping one position from its top ranking last year, the upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate ranked second on the overall list but was number one among commercial driver respondents to the survey. Despite FMCSA’s issuance of a final ruling on the hours-of-service rules earlier this year to permanently remove the more restrictive 34-hour restart provisions, the HOS rules remained a top concern in the number three spot on the list as motor carriers and drivers look for increased flexibility in the rules.

The lack of available truck parking held its fourth place overall but moved up to the number two issue for commercial drivers. Rounding out the top five overall on this year’s list is Driver Retention.

“Identifying the right mix of partners and strategies to effectively address the driver shortage is one of our top goals for the industry” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “ATA and its federation partners rely on ATRI’s annual analysis to ensure we successfully navigate the important issues now and into the future.”

A copy of the report is available here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.  You can visit ATRI’s website at to see more ATRI research.

Oct 232017

Oct 182017

Contact: Dan Murray
(612) 210-6950
October 18, 2017


Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute today released the findings of its 2017 update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking. Using financial data provided directly by motor carriers throughout the country, this research documents and analyzes trucking costs from 2008 through 2016 – providing trucking industry stakeholders with a high-level benchmarking tool, and government agencies with a baseline for future transportation infrastructure improvement analyses.

The average marginal cost per mile in 2016 was $1.59. Key line items that impacted this year’s costs include declines in fuel costs of 17 percent from 2015 costs while at the same time driver wages and benefits increased by 5 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over last year’s figures. And, as a result, for the second year in a row since ATRI started collecting the industry’s operational costs data, driver costs now represent a higher percentage of overall costs than does fuel. A clear underpinning of the 2016 data was the soft economy last year, and the myriad implications that has on insurance, capacity, and pricing. In addition, the sophistication of 21st Century trucks is driving up equipment costs for both purchasing and repair and maintenance.

“We eagerly await the release of ATRI’s Operational Costs research each year as an important barometer of our fleet performance versus our peers in the industry,” said Bart Middleton, Grammer Industries CEO.

New to this year’s report are findings on safety and performance bonus and incentive amounts that carriers are paying to attract and retain the best drivers.

Since its original publication in 2008, ATRI has received over 13,500 requests for the Operational Costs reports.

You can download this report here.

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ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

Oct 182017

Sep 212017

Featured Articles:

  • ATRI Newsmakers
  • Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks a Big Part of Industry’s Cost of Congestion
  • ATRI Board Approves Research Priorities
  • ATRI Continues Research Focus on Autonomous Trucks
  • Honoring Those Who Have Passed
  • RAC Member – Dustin Koehl
  • ATRI Remains Active in Numerous Truck Parking Projects
  • ATRI Parking Diaries Give Voice to Driver Struggles Finding Truck Parking
  • New Research Quantifies Impacts of National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
  • ATRI Updates Compendium of Sustainable Freight Practices

Click here to download newsletter (PDF).