Feb 052019

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Feb 052019

Contact: Dan Murray
(651) 641-6162
February 5, 2019


Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released an analysis of the impacts that emerging e-commerce trends are having on the trucking industry, including the challenges and opportunities that more regionalized retail supply chains and the proliferation of urban “last mile” deliveries have presented. This research was identified as a top research priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.

The analysis provides background on emerging e-commerce and omni-channel retailing trends, and maps the implications of these trends to trucking operations and the industry’s top ten issues. Key findings in ATRI’s report include:

  • From 1999-2017, e-commerce sales increased from less than one percent of total U.S. retail sales to more than nine percent, reflecting a 3,000 percent increase in e-commerce sales.
  • Annual growth of e-commerce has ranged between 13 and 16 percent over the last five years, outpacing the one to five percent annual growth in traditional retail sales.
  • Retailers are becoming more flexible in how they transact with consumers by decentralizing their distribution/fulfillment networks to bring inventory closer to consumers.
  • There were 2,130 fewer department stores and 385,000 fewer jobs at these stores in 2017 compared to 2015; there were 1,937 more courier services operating and just over 85,000 new employees hired in the sector during this time period.
  • “Last Mile Fulfillment Centers” represented 73 percent of the industrial real estate market in 2017, a 15 percentage point increase from the previous year.
  • Registrations for single-unit trucks increased by 7.8 percent between 2007 and 2016 compared to 4.4 percent growth in combination truck registrations.
  • The number of intra-regional and last-mile truck trips has increased while the average length of haul has declined. Average trip lengths have decreased 37 percent since 2000, while urban vehicle miles traveled have increased for much of this time period.
  • Intrastate and local hauls for e-commerce could serve as a training opportunity for 18-20-year-old drivers, representing a huge new pool of potential interstate CDL drivers.

“ATRI’s research provides a critical roadmap for trucking industry stakeholders to address the challenges and benefits of e-commerce and omni-channel retailing,” said Tom Benusa, CIO of Transport America. “These trends are game-changing, and our industry must adapt quickly to ensure that trucking continues to be the preeminent freight mode.”

A copy of this 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. 

Jan 092019

Contact: Rebecca Brewster
(770) 432-0628
January 9, 2019


Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today published its latest update of state and local idling regulations on its website at  The listing is provided in two forms.  An online compendium provides detailed information and hyperlinks to each of the 65 state and local regulations that have been identified.  A cab card is also available that provides a consolidated listing which can be downloaded and carried in the glove box of a truck.

Among the newly enacted regulations now included in the compendium are:

  1. Madison, Wisconsin has a 5-minute idling limit with limited exemptions, one of which is if the temperature is less than 20ºF or more than 90ºF. Fines can range from $25 to $200.
  2. Sandy City, Utah has a 1-minute idling limit with limited exemptions. Violators will be given up to three warnings before a citation not exceeding $750 can be issued.

Other regulations now listed in the compendium include Newark, Delaware; Ithaca, New York; Logan, Utah; and Summit County, Utah.

ATRI continues to monitor the development of idling regulations across the country and provides the compendium and cab card as a free service to help trucking companies and truck drivers comply with the myriad of state and local idling regulations.

“Even though enforcement tends to vary among jurisdictions, with areas such as California and New York City being more active, the regulations highlight communities that are concerned about emissions from idling vehicles,” explained Mike Tunnell, ATRI’s Director of Environmental Research.  “We urge trucking companies to be aware of these regulations not only to comply and avoid fines but to be good neighbors in the communities in which they operate.”

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. 

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Jan 092019

ATRI publishes a compendium of current idling regulations by state, which is provided for free in two different PDF formats — the original compendium listing and as a foldable cab card for quick reference. ATRI updates the compendium regularly.

The information contained in these compendiums is for reference purposes only and should not be relied upon for regulatory compliance. This information may contain errors and omissions and is subject to change. Actual state, county, or city codes should be referenced for specific requirements. Online users may access these codes by clicking on the individual regulations listed.

Dec 042018

Contact: Rebecca Brewster
(770) 432-0628
December 4, 2018


Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released the names of those individuals appointed by the ATRI Board of Directors to serve on the 2019-2020 Research Advisory Committee (RAC).  Among other activities, ATRI’s RAC is responsible for annually identifying the top research priorities for the trucking industry.  RAC members represent a diverse cross-section of trucking industry stakeholders including motor carriers, industry suppliers, commercial drivers, shippers, law enforcement, academia and government.

Ms. Karen Rasmussen, Chief Executive Officer of HELP, Inc., was reappointed to serve as Chair of the RAC.  Individuals appointed to serve on the 2019-2020 ATRI Research Advisory Committee are:

Mr. Tom Balzer
President and CEO
Ohio Trucking Association

Mr. Shawn R. Brown
Vice President of Safety
Cargo Transporters

Mr. Kenneth Calhoun
Fleet Optimization Manager
Altec Service Group

Dr. Alison Conway
Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
City College of New York

Mr. Bob Costello
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President
American Trucking Associations

Mr. Tom Cuthbertson
Vice President, Regulatory Compliance

Mr. Dan Drella
Director, Safety and Training
Schneider National

Mr. Thomas Fansler
Trimble Transportation Mobility

Mr. Jim Fields
Chief Operating Officer
Pitt Ohio

Ms. Victoria King
Vice President Public Affairs

Mr. Stephen Laskowski
Canadian Trucking Alliance

Mr. Don Lefeve
President and CEO
Commercial Vehicle Training Association

Mr. Kenneth Lemberg
Apprenticeship and Training Representative
U.S. Department of Labor

Mr. Kevin Lhotak
Reliable Transportation Specialists

Mr. Mike Ludwick
Chief Administrative Officer
Bison Transport

Mr. Doug Marcello
Transportation Attorney
Marcello and Kivisto

Ms. Jaime Maus
Vice President of Safety and Compliance
Werner Enterprises

Ms. Caroline Mays
Director, Freight and International Trade Section
Texas Department of Transportation

Ms. Shannon Newton
Arkansas Trucking Association

Mr. Steve Olson
President and Chief Underwriting Officer
Great West Casualty Company

Ms. Holly Pixler
Senior Director Transportation, International and Data Management

Mr. John Prewitt
Tideport Distributing, Inc.

Mr. Steve Raetz
Director, Research & Market Intelligence
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

Mr. Jeremy Reymer
Founder and CEO

Mr. Lee Sarratt, CDS
Director of Safety
J.B. Hunt

Deputy Chief Mark Savage
Colorado State Patrol

Ms. Kary Schaefer
General Manager of Marketing and Strategy for Freightliner and Detroit Brands
Daimler Trucks North America

Mr. Russell Simpson
America’s Road Team Captain

Mr. Mike Stephens
Senior Director of Finance
USA Truck

Mr. Collin Stewart
President and CEO
Stewart Transport

Ms. Sara Walfoort
Manager, Freight Planning
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission

Mr. Tom Weakley
Director of Operations
Owner-Operator Independent
Drivers Association Foundation

Mr. Shawn Yadon
Chief Executive Officer
California Trucking Association

“RAC members serve a critical role in developing and prioritizing research proposals that address the trucking industry’s top challenges. Congratulations to those appointed by the ATRI Board to serve in this important role and we look forward to working with them,” said Rebecca Brewster, ATRI President and COO.

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.

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Oct 292018

Contact: Rebecca Brewster
(404) 247-8787
October 29, 2018


Austin, Texas – 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 second year in a row, the driver shortage is the top-ranked issue.

The need to recruit qualified truck drivers is not a new issue for the industry.  In fact, the Driver Shortage has been a top-three issue in 12 out of the 14 years that ATRI has conducted this survey. However, the driver shortage has held firm as the number one issue as strong freight demand and an aging workforce increase pressure on motor carriers to recruit and retain the best talent

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 2018 American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition in Austin, Texas. The ATRI Top Industry Issues report also includes prioritized strategies for addressing each issue.

The number two issue in this year’s survey is the Hours-of-Service rules, driven in large part by the industry’s call for increased flexibility in the rules, particularly the sleeper berth provision.  Reflecting the industry’s challenges in recruiting and retaining professional drivers, this year’s number three issue is Driver Retention, up two spots from last year.

Industry concern over the ELD Mandate has abated some since the final rule went into effect last December, as evidenced by a drop in ranking from the number two issue in 2017 to the number four issue this year.  The lack of available truck parking rounds out this year’s top five but remains as the number two issue among commercial drivers.

“I’ve spent the past year traveling the country as ATA Chairman and everywhere I go, people talk about how we’ve got to resolve our workforce challenges if we’re going to keep this nation’s economy moving forward,” said Dave Manning, TCW, Inc. President.  “ATRI’s annual analysis lays out the industry’s preferred strategies for not only addressing our workforce issues, but HOS, truck parking, and congestion as well.”

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. A copy of the survey results is available from ATRI by clicking here.

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Oct 292018


Oct 242018

Contact: Dan Murray
(651) 641-6162
October 24, 2018


Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today launched its initiative to collect and warehouse anonymized electronic logging device data.  With universal deployment of electronic logging devices (ELDs), the industry now has a new opportunity to document and address the many issues that impact driver and carrier safety, operations, and productivity using the more robust data available from ELDs.

“The new data generated by ELDs can provide a wealth of insight and research support to our industry,” said Andrew Boyle, Co-President of Boyle Transportation and ATRI Board Member.  “But we clearly need a trusted third-party facilitator to manage and monitor how the information is used.  ATRI is uniquely suited to serve that role.  In the right context, ELDs can provide the real-world data needed to guide future regulations and initiatives.”

A number of trucking fleets have already shared their ELD data with ATRI to evaluate its potential for a number of critical industry analyses and ATRI is now looking for an expanded group of motor carriers who are willing to regularly provide anonymized ELD data to ATRI for the industry clearinghouse.  Through the collection of anonymous, aggregated ELD data, ATRI hopes to support solid, thorough and scientifically valid analyses to address major industry problems.

To learn more about how your fleet can support this effort please click here to provide a contact person for your organization.  ATRI will be scheduling a webinar for interested fleets in November to provide additional detail on what will be required to participate in the clearinghouse.

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 242018

YES, I am interested in learning more about how to participate in ATRI’s ELD Data Clearinghouse.

Oct 182018

Contact: Rebecca Brewster
(770) 432-0628
October 18, 2018


Arlington, Virginia – Traffic congestion on the U.S. National Highway System added nearly $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, a 0.5 percent increase over 2015, according to research released today by the American Transportation Research Institute.  In this latest Cost of Congestion analysis, ATRI utilized a variety of data sources including its unique truck GPS database to calculate delay on just the NHS totaling nearly 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity.  This equates to 425,533 commercial truck drivers sitting idle for a working year.

Moreover, congestion costs are increasingly concentrated on a relatively small proportion of the NHS – 86.7 percent of total nationwide congestion costs occurred on just 17.2 percent of NHS segment miles.  These NHS segments are characterized as having above-average costs in excess of $155,000 per mile during 2016, and are predominantly located in densely populated urban areas.  As expected, traffic congestion tended to be most severe in urban areas, with more than 91 percent of the total congestion costs generating from metropolitan areas.

ATRI’s analysis also documented the states, metropolitan areas, and counties that were most impacted by these delays and subsequent cost increases.  The top 10 states experienced costs of more than $2.4 billion each, led by Texas and Florida with over $5.5 billion each.  In fact, the top 10 states combined account for 51.8 percent of the congestion costs nationwide.

“Perhaps no other issue has as great an impact on this nation’s supply chain as traffic congestion.  In the face of growing and pervasive congestion, not only does the trucking industry lose billions annually but ultimately the consumer pays the price through higher prices on the shelf,” said Benjamin J. McLean, Ruan Transportation Management Systems Chief Executive Officer. “Doing nothing to address the state of our nation’s infrastructure will create a significant impediment to the growth of our economy.”

As part of this analysis, ATRI has updated its congestion cost database with 2016 data to provide granular cost information to transportation planning officials on the hours of delay and associated cost by major jurisdiction type and road level.

A copy of this 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.