Behind the Numbers: Top Trucking Economist to Share Key Facts & Figures


Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, has valuable insights into the economy and the trucking industry that can help truckstop and travel plaza operators prepare for the future.

During NATSO Connect, Costello will sit down with operators and share information on critical economic factors that will influence the fleets and the country’s consumers throughout the coming year. What’s more, he will dig into the reasons they are relevant, which will help operators lay the groundwork for strategic business decisions.

Costello will address operators as part of a panel discussion led by Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman, vice president, public relations at NATSO. Truckstop operators, including confirmed panelists Jim Hays, owner of Dodge City Petro, Chad Stanford, vice president of real estate for QuikTrip Corp, and Elizabeth Waring, president and CEO of Busy Bee, will have a chance to ask specific questions that will help them uncover the economic issues that will affect their operations throughout 2018 and beyond.

Numbers without an analytical framework can be white noise, so Costello sat down with Stop Watch to discuss some of the key facts and figures he will likely share during the session and described why they matter to the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

Autonomous Trucking: Autonomous trucking technology could affect how many professional drivers are needed to deliver freight, which correlates to the number of drivers stopping at the nation’s truckstops and travel plazas. Costello said, “NATSO members will want to know, ‘Is this real, is it not real, is it a threat to us?’”

Driver Pay: Driver pay rates affect how much money drivers have to spend at NATSO members’ locations. Higher pay means greater discretionary income, which could improve sales...

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Mindy Long's photo

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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