Reflecting the rising price of fuel, the cost per mile and the cost per route for wholesale grocery delivery rose sharply in 2001. Cost per mile jumped 19 cents and the cost per route rose $39. Other benchmarks were mixed with cost per stop and cost as a percent of sales dropping and cost per delivered case rising. However, a look at 10 years of food industry cost data shows trend lines for the major benchmarks remain essentially flat. This data is reported in the Food Distributors International wholesale/retail transportation and fleet maintenance report prepared for the 2001 Food Industry Productivity Convention and Exposition.
Cost per mile, which had gone up through most of the decade of the 1990s, rose again in 2001 climbing to $2.28 up from $2.09 in 2000 and up significantly from the recent low of $2.04 per mile in 1999 and the 10-year low of $1.83 in 1991. Cost per mile for 2001 set a 10-year high, eclipsing the recent peak of $2.23 reached in 1996. Data for this cost survey was collected and analyzed by Richard H Kochersperger, a consultant in private practice.