Findings released by the nonprofit American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) from the 2011 update of its An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking show that for for-hire motor carriers, the average marginal cost per mile was $1.45 in 2009 and $1.49 in the first quarter of 2010.
ATRI said these figures were lower than the average marginal cost per mile of $1.65 found in its revised 2008 analysis. The institute noted that fuel and driver wages (excluding benefits) continued to be the largest cost centers for carriers, constituting 58% of the average operating costs in the first quarter of 2010.
According to ATRI, this research, which identified trucking costs derived directly from fleet operations, “will provide carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with an accurate dataset for future infrastructure improvement analyses.”
ATRI identified 2008, 2009 and first quarter 2010 cost per mile and cost per hour figures stratified by fleet size, sector and region of the country. Based on feedback from the 2008 study, the per-truck speed calculation methodology was revised to better reflect the range of speeds at which trucks operate.
“Fleets are extremely sensitive to even the smallest change in operating costs given the razor thin margins under which we operate and we need to manage our costs more effectively than ever,” noted Terry Croslow, COO & CFO Bestway Express, Inc. in ATRI’s news release. “ATRI’s study provides an important tool for monitoring and benchmarking our expenses.”
A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.ATRI-online.org.