Increased Trucking Cost Being Felt
High driver pay and expensive equipment are likely to blame for the increased trucking cost that companies are reporting. For the fourth consecutive year, we’ve seen increased trucking cost, a trend that may be no where near reversing. The American Transportation Research Institute reported that trucking cost rose 5 cents per mile from 2013 to now. This according to ATRI’s 2014 update to An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.
Since 2008, the American Transportation Research Institute has been tracking trucking cost and this report is the 2014 update.
High Trucking Cost By The Numbers
The average marginal cost per mile in 2013 was $1.68, an increase from the $1.63 found in 2012. After the latest 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 the resulting wage increases by motor carriers to ensure retention of experienced, qualified drivers.
Truck Driver Shortage Adding To Increased Trucking Cost
The shortage of truck drivers across the country have forced many trucking fleets and owners to take extreme measurements and offer benefits that they typically wouldn’t. In order to retail senior and experienced truck drivers, many were forced to pay truck drivers more.
“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,” stated Andrew Boyle, Executive Vice President of Boyle Transportation and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.
Higher Equipment Cost Also Fueling Higher Trucking Cost
While the shortage of truck drivers is certainly one cause of increased trucking cost, higher equipment cost and maintenance are also to blame. As technology increases and advances, equipment cost will continue to rise.
With new toll roads being added, new regulations, higher driver cost and healthcare, all of these elements have been driving factors for the increased trucking cost we’re seeing in this report. With 4 consecutive years of rising cost, we’re likely to continue in this same pattern.
Efforts To Lower Trucking Cost Being Made
We’re already seeing strides and effort to drive trucking cost down. While fuel continues to fall, efforts are being made to find cheaper means to fueling. Truckers Logic covered an article how efforts are being made to fuel trucks with natural gas. Continued efforts such as this will be needed to reverse the trend of increased trucking cost.