Trucking operational costs on the rise, study finds

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released the findings of its 2014 update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking. This research, which identifies trucking costs from 2008 through 2013 derived directly from fleets’ financial and operational data, provides motor carriers with a benchmarking tool and government agencies with real-world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.
Average marginal cost per mile in 2013 was $1.68, an increase from the $1.63 found in 2012. After the Great Recession and a sharp decline in fuel prices resulted in decreased industry costs between 2008 and 2009, costs steadily rose through 2010 and 2011, with a slight decline in 2012. The increase in average operating costs in 2013 is attributed to the ongoing driver shortage and resulting wage increases by motor carriers to ensure retention of experienced, qualified drivers.
“Carriers have experienced significant increases in equipment and labor costs, as well as second-level line items like tolls and health care benefits. Given tightening capacity and strengthening freight demand, ATRI’s operational costs report enables carriers to evaluate business opportunities wisely,” said Andrew Boyle, executive vice-president of Boyle Transportation and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.
Since its original publication in 2008, the Operational Costs of Trucking reports continue to be one of the most requested ATRI reports among industry stakeholders. In addition to average costs per mile, ATRI’s report documents average costs per hour and includes cost breakouts by industry sector. Also new this year, ATRI is publishing a one-page fact sheet with the key findings of the report.
A copy of this report and the fact sheet are available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.

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