ATRI releases “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking”

The American Transportation Research Institute released the findings of its 2016 update to “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking.” Using financial data provided directly by motor carriers throughout the country, this research documents and analyzes trucking costs from 2008 through 2015 providing trucking industry stakeholders with a high-level benchmarking tool and government agencies with a baseline for future transportation infrastructure improvement analyses.

The average marginal cost per mile in 2015 was $1.59, a 6 percent decrease from the $1.70 found in 2014. This decline in average marginal cost per mile is attributed mostly to the steady fall in fuel prices experienced throughout 2015, but it also identifies the late 2015 economic softening that continued into 2016. And, for the first time since ATRI started collecting the industry’s operational costs data, driver costs now represent a higher percentage of overall costs than does fuel.

“ATRI’s ‘ops cost’ research is an excellent barometer of the state of the nation’s economy, as it documented the softening in 2015 but also indicates that costs will be on the rise in 2016,” said Bob Costello, chief economist for the American Trucking Associations and a member of the ATRI Research Advisory Committee.

New to this year’s report is additional information on fleet-wide fuel economy and operating speeds and the relationship between speed limiter use and fuel economy.

Since its original publication in 2008, ATRI has received more 10,000 requests for the
“Operational Cost of Trucking” report, and it continues to be one of the most popular reports among industry stakeholders. In addition to average costs per mile, ATRI’s report documents average costs per hour, cost breakouts by industry sector and operating cost comparisons of U.S. regions.