ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Transportation Research Institute said Monday that the average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers in 2018 increased 7.7% to $1.82.
The finding was a key data fact in ATRI’s 2019 update to “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.”
Costs rose in every cost center except tires, with fuel costs experiencing the highest year-over-year growth of 17.7%. Not surprisingly, insurance costs saw the second fastest year-over-year growth at 12%. As a strategic response to the severe driver shortage that existed in 2018, driver wages and benefits increased 7.0 and 4.7%, respectively — representing 43 percent of all marginal costs in 2018.
Repair & maintenance costs, at 17.1 cents per mile in 2018, have increased 24% since 2012, a counterintuitive increase given the record sales of new trucks and trailers. From 2012 to 2018, overall motor carrier operational costs have increased more than 11.6%, exceeding the 10.8 percent inflation rate for that same time period.
“ATRI’s 2019 Operational Costs research highlights the extent of the cost increases our industry experienced in 2018. Savvy carriers will continue to use this cost data as a benchmarking tool, and to better educate our customers on the financial and operating pressures our industry faces,” said Jerry Sigmon, Executive vice president of Cargo Transporters. “The new 2019 report also gives us important explanations and hints on how to better manage the cost volatility we’ve been experiencing.”
Since its original publication in 2008, ATRI has received over 16,000 requests for the Operational Costs reports.
ATRI’s newest 2019 Ops Costs report documents the extremely robust economic environment that carriers and drivers experienced in 2018, but these same economic conditions put considerable upward pressure on nearly every line-item cost center experienced by carriers.
Using detailed financial data provided directly by motor carriers of all sectors and fleet sizes, this “Ops Costs” research annually documents and analyzes trucking costs from 2008 through 2018. ATRI’s analysis provides industry stakeholders with an essential benchmarking tool, and government agencies with input on industry finances necessary for comprehensive transportation planning and infrastructure improvement analyses.
A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.TruckingResearch.org.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.