The Newsletter of the Non-Profit Research Organization for the Trucking Industry

ATRInsider March 2024 | Volume 20, Issue 2

ATRI Hosts Focus Group with Women Truck Drivers to Examine Barriers to Entry into Driving Careers

On March 14, 2024, ATRI hosted a group of 11 women truck drivers for a focus group as part of its research examining how the industry can attract and retain more women drivers. ATRI’s Crash Predictor Model was among the first to quantify the safety rationale for why the industry needs more women drivers, whose safety records outperformed their male counterparts in a dataset of over 580,000 truck drivers.

This latest ATRI study, identified as a top priority by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2023, seeks to better understand the barriers to entry for women coming into the industry and how fleets can overcome those challenges to ultimately increase the number of women drivers nationwide. Research tasks have included motor carrier and driver surveys, interviews with fleets, drivers, and driver training schools, and this latest focus group. 

Collectively the women represented over 200 years of driving experience and were from fleets across the U.S. and Canada. Topics covered included what initially attracted them to trucking careers, what motivates them to stay in the industry, and best practices for addressing some of the challenges of life on the road.  

ATRI truly appreciates the expertise and insights from these drivers and for their commitment to bringing more women into the industry.  

Jody Doncaster, Bison Transport

Patty Navarro, Boyle Transportation

Jacqueline Vasquez, CRST - The Transportation Solution

Shelly Weyers, Dot Transportation, Inc.

Tina Klein, Fedex Ground / Red Pine Transport

Shandrika Jolivet, Groendyke Transport

Edith Lambert, Jetco - GTI Group

Dee Sova, Prime Inc.

Emily Plummer, Prime Inc.

Molly Shultz, TransLand

Gina Jones, Werner Enterprises

Pictured above, from left to right: Jody Doncaster, Tina Klein, Molly Shultz, Jacqueline Vasquez, Shandrika Jolivet, Emily Plummer, Shelly Weyers, Dee Sova, Edith Lambert, and Patty Navarro. (Photos by SunJae Smith)

ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee Meets to

Identify Top Research Priorities for 2024

ATRI’s RAC held its Annual Meeting March 12-13, 2024 in Washington, DC to identify the top research priorities for the trucking industry. Led by ATRI RAC Chair Ben Banks, 31 RAC members reviewed and deliberated on over 28 individual research topics before finalizing a list of five top priorities for 2024. Research topics reviewed covered a wide range of critical industry issues including workforce development, safety, industry operations, environmental issues, and transportation infrastructure.

Click here for names of ATRI's Research Advisory Committee members. (Photo by SunJae Smith)

On May 19, 2024, ATRI RAC Chair Ben Banks will present the five top priority topics to the ATRI Board of Directors for their review and approval before finalization. Once approved by the ATRI Board, ATRI’s professional research team will commence on those research studies this summer. Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2024 top priority research topics.

ATRI Calls on For-Hire Motor Carriers to Participate in Operational Costs of Trucking Data Collection

ATRI has issued a request for motor carriers to participate in its annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.

ATRI's Operational Costs of Trucking analysis is one of the most trusted resources in the industry for benchmarking costs and operations. ATRI collects data confidentially from for-hire motor carriers of all sectors, regions, and sizes – from 1-truck owner-operators to 10,000-truck fleets – to produce insights on key industry trends that guide decision-makers of all kinds. Participating motor carriers will receive a customized report that compares their fleet’s costs and operations to peer carriers of the same sector and size, as well as an advance copy of the full report.

“We contribute data to ATRI’s Operational Costs every year because its findings are indispensable to our operations,” said Jason Higginbotham, Ozark Motor Lines Chief Financial Officer. “The customized peer-group analysis provides us an essential update on how our fleet performs, while the full report allows us to identify industry-wide trends and communicate them to our partners.”

For-hire motor carriers are encouraged to provide operational cost data to ATRI by Friday, April 26. ATRI’s data collection form is available online here, along with a sample customized report and FAQ. All confidential information is protected, and it is published only in anonymized, aggregate form.

Motor Carriers Click Here to Participate in ATRI's Operational Costs of Trucking

ATRI Releases Annual List of Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks

ATRI has released its 13th annual list highlighting the most congested bottlenecks for trucks in America.

The 2024 Top Truck Bottleneck List measures the level of truck-involved congestion at over 325 locations on the national highway system and is based on an extensive database of freight truck GPS data. ATRI's truck GPS data is also used to support numerous state and federal freight mobility initiatives. The bottleneck locations detailed in the latest ATRI list represent the top 100 congested locations throughout the country, although ATRI continuously monitors more than 325 freight-critical locations.

For the sixth year in a row, the intersection of I-95 and SR 4 in Fort Lee, New Jersey is once again the Number One freight bottleneck in the country. The remaining Top 10 bottlenecks include:

ATRI’s analysis, which utilized data from 2023, found traffic conditions continue to deteriorate from recent years, in some instances due to work zones resulting from increased infrastructure investment. Average rush hour truck speeds were 34.4 MPH, down nearly four percent from the previous year. Among the top-10 locations, average rush hour truck speeds were 28.5 MPH. 

Click here for access to ATRI's 2024 Top Truck Bottleneck list with detailed information on each of the 100 top congested locations including map animations for select locations.


ATRI Contributors Thank You for Your Support!

For over 20 years, ATRI has provided award-winning research to improve the trucking industry’s safety and productivity. Our mission is clear and our dedicated team of research professionals deliver on that mission each and every day. And, in recognition of all that ATRI does, the following organizations and individuals supported ATRI with a charitable contribution in the first quarter of 2024.

Alabama Trucking Association

Amy Boerger

ArcBest Corporation

Arkansas Trucking Association

Bulldog Hiway Express


Florida Trucking Association

Great West Casualty Company

Iowa Motor Truck Association

Kansas Motor Carriers Association

Kentucky Trucking Association

Maine Motor Transport Association

Maryland Motor Truck Association

Missouri Trucking Association

Motor Transport Association of Connecticut

Nathan Meisgeier

National Association of Presort Mailers

National Horse Carriers Association

New Mexico Trucking Association

Ohio Trucking Association

Old Dominion Freight Line

Ozark Motor Lines

Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association

Pitt Ohio

Rhode Island Trucking Association

Ruan Transportation Management Systems

Shorty and Ro Whittington 

Total Transportation of Mississippi LLC

Towing and Recovery Management Summit

Trucking Association of New York


Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association

Whether you make a personal contribution or contribute on behalf of your organization, your financial support will mean that we can continue to produce award-winning research to support your business and your industry. Please consider adding your name to this list of industry leaders by giving to ATRI today.

Click here to give to ATRI

ATRI Team Talks Trucking

ATRI VP Jeffrey Short joins the Freightvine podcast to discuss opportunities and challenges concerning the electrification of freight transportation. Listen to the podcast by clicking image above.

ATRI President Rebecca Brewster moderates a panel of industry leaders for ATA's Women in Motion's inaugural webinar on Empowering Women in Leadership. Click image above to watch the webinar.

Upcoming opportunities to hear the ATRI team talk about the latest research:

  • March 21-23: Mid-America Truck Show, Louisville, KY - Carla Rose and Alexa Pupillo
  • March 26: Vertical Alliance Group Webinar, Online - Alex Leslie
  • April 25-27: ATA's SSHR Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ - Carla Rose and Abbigail Huffman
  • April 30 - May 2: 2024 Annual MCIEF Conference, Orlando, FL - Dan Murray
  • May 1: Toledo Trucking Association Scholarship Luncheon - Rebecca Brewster
  • May 18-19: ATA Mid-Year Management Conference - All ATRI Staff

Download a Free Copy of ATRI's Latest Research

2024 Annual List of Top 100 Truck Bottlenecks

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Is California Ready for an Electric Vehicle Future? – One-Page Analysis

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Causes and Countermeasures of Predatory Towing

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Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry - 2023 Update

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Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry - 2023

ATRI-Association-Membership-Safety-08-2023-cover-386x500 image

Membership Counts: Associations with Safety

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Atlanta, GA • Minneapolis, MN • Washington, DC • Sacramento, CA

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 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.