Need Some Stuff to Really Worry About? Pretend You’re a Trucker.
February 26, 2024   Dave Lewis

At the recent Annual Conference for the National Association of Presort Mailers (NAPM), we were lucky enough to hear a talk by Rebecca Brewster, the President of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI.) She shared some of the top concerns facing truckers and truck lines in 2024. Should you care? Only if you like…stuff. To quote one of my favorite tag lines: “If you’ve got it, a truck brought it.” 

You can download all kinds of detailed reports for free from the ATRI website – – for free, but here are some of the highlights we found interesting. Many of the top concerns are easy to guess – fuel prices and the economy in general – but there are some trucking specific issues that you may not think about:

Truck Parking

If you are delivering goods across the country, you are required by law to stop and rest – long enough to get at least eight hours of sleep. However, finding a place to park and do that is a real issue. There are more than 300,000 truck parking spots in the US. Sounds pretty good, right? Nope – there is just one space for every eleven trucks, so truckers end up being forced to park on off-ramps, shoulders, and unsafe spots. It is a real disincentive for hiring and keeping drivers, which leads us to concern #2:

Hiring Enough Drivers

Imagine a senior graduating from high school looking for a well-paying job that doesn’t require a degree. How about driving a truck? Cool! Except you need to be twenty-one to get a CDL. Even the Fonz graduated younger than that. So, by the time you reach the age when you can get a CDL, you may well be on your way to another career – or off to college. And when you finally get your BA in Comparative Literature, trucking may not seem stimulating enough for you. Also, imagine if you saw in the news that the job to which you aspire is going to be replaced by talking trucks (or maybe it’s “self-driving), you might not be so tempted to become a truck driver. 

To combat this, the trucking industry is actively trying, among other efforts, to make truck driving a more attractive career for females, trying to identify and remove barriers. Some CDL training locations even provide child seats while Mom is training. In addition to simply expanding the role of women in trucking helps with the next big concern:

Driver Safety

ATRI did research to identify what kinds of driving behaviors were the best predictors of future crashes. Reckless driving, right? Or maybe red-light running? Nope – it was failure to yield right-of-way violations. Having that on your record increased your future crash likelihood by 141%! Number two was failure to use signal – 116%! So, feel free to scream at that guy who cut you off – he’s a future risk! Oh, did I say “guy?” Yes, I meant “guy.”  Female drivers outperformed males in every statistically significant safety behavior.

Environmental Concerns

Wouldn’t it be great if all the trucks were electric and stopped creating emissions? Yeah, a lot of politicians think so, too. In California, truckers may soon need electric trucks to operate in the state. There’s one little problem: if all of the trucks operating in California magically became electric tomorrow, they would consume more than 54% of the state’s electricity – if they could find a charger, which they can’t because the infrastructure doesn’t exist yet. 


Here’s one you can help with. No, we’re not keeping you after school. When trucks are held up at a customer facility – sometimes for hours – it makes it hard if not impossible to stay on schedule.

These were just some of the highlights, among many other challenges like fuel prices, driver compensation, lawsuit abuse, and more. And you thought you had problems.

So next time you see a truck driver, make sure you give her a big thank you. Because if you’ve got it, that’s who brought it.