The fragile state of the U.S. economy is the top issue on the minds of motor carriers, according to a FreightWaves survey that asked respondents to list their top three issues in advance of Tuesday’s election.
The Oct. 20-21 survey, sent to a subsection of FreightWaves subscribers, received 52 responses. No list of issues or prompts were provided. Carrier responses covered 22 topics. FreightWaves assigned three points for a No. 1 priority, two points for No. 2 and one point for No. 3.
The Top 10:
1. Economy 61
2. (Tie) Taxes 39
2. (Tie) Regulations 39
4. Industry issues 30
5. Presidential election 27
6. Trade 26
7. COVID pandemic 15
8. Infrastructure 12
9. (Tie) Civil unrest 9
9 (Tie) Driver shortage 9
Others receiving votes: fuel prices 8; hours of service 7; health care 6; insurance costs, minimum wage 4; manufacturing 3; and autonomous trucking 1.
On the much larger “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry — 2020” survey released Tuesday by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the economy ranked eighth. The driver shortage that ranked ninth in the FreightWaves survey was No. 1 in the ATRI survey for the fourth consecutive year.
FreightWaves combined several similarly worded responses. For example, comments about the presidential candidates were combined under the presidential election.The industry issues bucket included drug testing, safety and liability insurance, and broker fees.
Other election issues surveyed
The survey also asked carriers whether they had business continuity plans in case of civil unrest surrounding the outcome of the presidential election. About one in four respondents (27%) said yes. The remainder (73%) said no.
On a question about how much communication and education they had with their employees, about Tuesday’s election, more than half (52%) said none, while 15% said a lot and 33% said a little.
Four out of 10 carriers said they planned to give employees time off to vote next Tuesday.
Finally, on a question about whether the election had generated much talk or been a distraction during online and in-person meetings, 58% said it had not. About four in 10 (37%) said sometimes, and 6% said “a lot.”
Inside the Election 2020 series:
Oct. 30: Is Canada ready for an U.S. administration change?
Oct. 30: In 2016, Trump promised trucking things would change. Have they?