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ATA Top Economist & NATSO Show Speaker: Challenges within the Trucking Industry May Create Opportunities for Truckstops

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, The NATSO Show


For two and a half days, the industry gathers to find knowledge, solutions and connections at The NATSO Show. Just like The NATSO Show, The NATSO Show Magazine is your source for improving your travel plaza business operations. Unlike The NATSO Show it is year-round. 

ATA Top Economist & NATSO Show Speaker: Challenges within the Trucking Industry May Create Opportunities for Truckstops  

The performance of the trucking industry has a direct influence on operations within truckstops and travel plazas, and Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist at American Trucking Associations, told NATSO that two of the top challenges within the trucking industry are likely to create opportunities for truckstop and travel plaza owners.

Costello will share his full insights during a keynote address at The NATSO Show, but he sat down with NATSO ahead of the show to offer a preview of the year ahead.

Costello said the driver shortage remains a top industry concern. ATA estimates a shortage of between 35,000 and 40,000 drivers, which translates Costello said will translate into higher pay for drivers. “That means they should have more money to spend at travel centers,” he said, adding that to get a sense of driver spending power, operators should look at driver wages, which ATA reports on. 

There is also a technician shortage within the U.S., which could also provide more opportunities for value-added services from NATSO members, Costello explained. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that trucking will need to recruit 67,000 new technicians by 2022 due to growth or to replace those currently working in the industry. That figure is in addition to the more than 75,000 new diesel engine specialists BLS anticipates will be needed by 2022.

Costello will join with John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute, for a keynote address on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. at The NATSO Show.

To read about the ahead-of-the-curve experts planned for The NATSO Show 2016, visit The NATSO Show website here.

Costello and Felmy's sessions is sponsored by Chevron.

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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