The average marginal cost per mile in 2012 was $1.63, a slight decrease from the $1.71 found in 2011, according to the American Transportation Research Institute's latest update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.
The research, which identifies trucking costs from 2008 through 2012 derived directly from fleets’ financial and operational data, provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.
The average marginal cost per mile in 2012 was $1.63, a slight decrease from the $1.71 found in 2011. After the Great Recession and a sharp decline in fuel prices resulted in decreased industry costs between 2008 and 2009, industry costs steadily rose through 2010 and 2011. The slight decrease in average operating costs in 2012 was most likely due to the weak economic recovery and softening freight conditions experienced in the second half of the year.
Fuel costs were higher, at 64.1 cents per mile compared to 59 cents in 2011, while driver wages were slightly lower, at 41.7 cents per mile compared to 46 cents in 2011. Truck/trailer lease or purchase payments also dropped, from 18.9 cents per mile to 17.4 cents.
“Although we have seen conditions improve since the Great Recession of several years ago, an uncertain economic future means we have to be ever diligent in watching costs. ATRI’s report provides critical financial data for carriers to use in benchmarking fleet performance and seeking opportunities for improved operations,” says Phil Byrd, Sr., president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express and first vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations.
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.
A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org.