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Clark: In a complex trucking world, leasing makes sense

Sept. 18, 2023
As researchers clock trucking's cost per mile as over $2 for the first time ever, consider full-service leasing as an option.

The cost of operating a truck was more than $2 per mile, according to the American Transportation Research Institute's (ATRI) Analysis of the Operations Cost of Trucking: 2023 Update. This is the first time since ATRI began reporting on the operation cost of trucking in 2008 that the cost per mile has exceeded $2.

Various factors contributed to the rise in costs, including fuel prices and increased maintenance and repair costs. In addition to the increased costs, today's trucks are more complex. Fleets also have to contend with the continued development and deployment of alternative fuel vehicles.

See also: 5 questions to ask outside service providers

Given all these changes, fleets should consider looking at full-service leasing as an option.

Full-service leasing allows fleets to gain more control over their operations.

The benefits of full-service truck leasing

  • Minimize cost: Leasing companies purchase large quantities of trucks, which allows them to take advantage of economies of scale in purchasing assets. Since they are large purchasers of trucks, they likely have an advantage when it comes to new vehicle allocations. These economies of scale also apply to maintenance and repair parts.
  • Budget consistency: Full-service leasing provides fleets with a set price for maintenance and repair, which simplifies budgeting and insulates them from volatile pricing swings from parts and labor.
  • New technology trials: Fleets can test new technology features or even powertrain options to see how they  perform in their operation with minimal risk.
  • Newer equipment: Fleets can set leasing terms to have new equipment regularly. New equipment tends to be more efficient and is also a great aid in driver attraction and retention.
  • Better spec'ing: The expertise of leasing companies can be useful for fleets to determine which specs can be used for various duty cycles or operating conditions.

With all the current complexity in trucking, upcoming regulatory changes that will further complicate things, and the move to zero-emission freight movement, leasing is a good choice for reducing costs while increasing efficiency.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation's largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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