Fleet Management

Survey Shows Large Carriers Have An Edge Over Smaller Carriers

September 15, 2014

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Photo via International.
Photo via International.

In its inaugural trucking industry benchmarking survey, Katz, Sapper & Miller and McLeod Software released key findings about large, medium and small truckload carriers.

The survey found that large carriers posted better operating ratio, higher average fuel mileage, and lower fuel cost per mile than small and medium carriers

Large carriers posted an operating ratio of 92 compared with 94 for medium carriers and 95 for small carriers. Large carriers also reported a slightly better average fuel economy of 6 mpg compared with 5.9 mpg for medium carriers and 5.7 mpg for small carriers.

Small carriers reported the highest fuel cost per mile at $0.64, while large and medium carriers averaged $0.59 per mile.

Large carriers were also found to have more diverse revenue streams, with 49% of revenue coming from the top 20 customers, while small and medium carriers reported 75% of revenue from the top 20 customers.

“This survey breaks new ground by giving truckload carriers the opportunity to measure the real performance of their operations against their peers,” said Tim Almack, partner-in-charge of KSM’s transportation services group.

The survey collected about 130 data elements from 2013. The carriers included in the survey ran a total of 16,000 trucks combined. Of the 16,000 trucks, 83% were company assets and 17% were owner-operator. Combined, these companies hauled 3 million loads, ran over 1.6 billion miles, and generated close to $3.9 billion in total revenue.

“The number of carriers who are electing to participate in this ongoing benchmark program is expected to increase substantially in future years, as more carriers recognize the benefits that benchmarking data can bring to their internal improvement efforts,” said Mark Cubine, vice president for McLeod.

KSM is a major CPA firm with experience with over 100 trucking and logistics clients throughout North America. McLeod Software is a provider of transportation dispatch, accounting, operations and brokerage management software and document management systems designed for the trucking industry.

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