Trucking’s operational costs continue to rise

Trucking’s operational costs continue to rise

The average marginal cost per mile for truck fleets in 2011 was $1.71, the highest of the four years studied by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) in a recently released report. According to ATRI’s study, An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking, industry costs have steadily risen through 2010 and 2011 following a sharp decline in fuel prices that resulted in decreased industry costs between 2008 and 2009. 

Fuel and driver wages (excluding benefits) continued to be the largest cost centers for carriers, together constituting 62% of the average operating cost in 2011, according to the report’s findings.

The ATRI research — which identifies trucking costs from 2008 to 2011 derived directly from fleet operations — provides carriers with an important high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with real world data for future infrastructure improvement analyses.

“Accurate, up-to-date operational costs are essential for our industry.  Given the current economic climate, the more financial data carriers have to analyze, the more opportunities there are to improve operations,” commented Chad England, COO of C.R. England, Inc. and a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee.

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 the report is available from ATRI at

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