Top 5 Transportation Risks

Transportation risk management begins with analyzing your biggest risks, determine where they come from, and the likelihood they will occur. It’s absolutely critical to conduct regular comprehensive risk analyses to prepare for and protect your company interests. Many of these challenges present travel and logistics failure or difficulties for the organization. These are the five most relevant transportation risks today.

Regulatory Oversight

Transportation safety is regulated by various Department of Transportation agencies, as well other Federal agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration. The safety of transportation workers falls (mostly) under OSHA, with an example of the exception being the FAA has jurisdiction over workers in the airline industry.

One of the largest areas of focus for compliance is driver fatigue. Since April of 2018, it has been required that trucks be equipped with devices that track how many hours each vehicle spends traveling per day. The new “hours of service” rule prohibits truckers from driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period of time. The drivers must also take at least 10 hours of required rest after an 11-hour drive. Similarly, flight crews are limited to 10 hours of flying per day with 14 hours of duty, and train crew is limited to 12 hours before a required rest period.

Standards and regulations will vary by organization and location, so it’s important to research specific requirements.

Cyber Attacks

Cyber liability is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when looking at the transportation industry, but every industry increasingly faces exposure to cyber risks. Due to technological advancements in the transportation industry and their role in automation and supply chains, cyber attacks pose a large risk. This risk is spread through third parties and partners such as suppliers and vendors.

System failure can prevent the ability to receive or ship orders, hackers can tamper with customer travel plans or change destinations, and criminals can steal PII from third party systems. Within the field of cyber attacks, there are many risks to account for within each organization. Having a response plan in place for each scenario and knowing the security requirements for each state are crucial to minimizing risk.

Driver Shortages

Though there is dispute by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that suspects driver supply will respond to price signals, the American Trucking Association projects a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers by 2023. This is partly expected due to an aging workforce and challenges to recruit new drivers to fill the positions. An expected increase in demand due to e-commerce growth will only serve to increase the severity of the staffing problem.

Similarly in aviation, it is estimated that more than 200,000 new pilots will be needed in North America alone over the next two decades to accommodate growth and the mandatory retirement age of 65.

While this shortage exists, pressure on the existing workforce will continue to increase as companies push workers to the legal limits of how many hours they drive per day to meet demand.

Deteriorating Infrastructure

Outdated and failing infrastructure is increasingly dangerous for vehicles. These problems range from road destruction (potholes, cracks), construction, and missing or incorrect signs. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) reported some startling statistics for the industry. An expected $897 billion has been lost in Gross Domestic Product by 2020 and 1.8 billion hours will be lost to congestion on America’s highways – 3 times the hours lost just 10 years ago.

This adds strain to the already stretched drivers and on company resources, who spend more in fuel and transportation time.


Transportation risk will always include weather conditions, which can affect the ability and time set to deliver. Temperature and weather conditions can vary drastically within just a hundred miles, crossing from sunny weather to blizzard-like conditions or severe rain. Flight, railroad, ship, or driving conditions can become unsafe and cause unexpected delays.

While its impossible to predict exact weather, incorporating preparedness and buffer windows into practice and training for various weather will help reduce the risk that weather causes.

Transportation Risk Software

Many organizations in the transportation industry face similar challenges, but every company is different. That’s why our software is fully customizable to meet your needs. Use our software to assess against criteria specific to you. That includes any relevant standards, regulations, or custom content such as policies.

You can also effectively allocate resources by identifying your most critical risks and which are within your appetite.  Once you’ve completed your survey, you can keep drilling down into the data, looking at overall risk and compliance by location, time frame, or other custom groupings. You can then generate a custom report showing your findings to articulate risk for presentations or prove compliance for audits.

For more details, schedule a free 30-minute meeting with our team to go over our software and all the ways we can help you improve your current process. Remember, RiskWatch is available for free for up to 3 assessments, so start improving today at no cost.

Subscribe for our latest posts


Try any of our products, free.

Riskwatch products are easy to use, free to try, and can be customized to fit your business needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *