A new report from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that operational costs for motor carriers increased significantly last year.
According to updates made to the ATRI’s An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking, increased economic activity in 2017 led to a 6% increase in the average marginal cost per mile incurred by motor carriers, making the new average cost per mile $1.69. The hourly operational cost for motor carriers also increased to $66.65 in 2017.
The ATRI blamed the increased operation costs on a variety of factors: “Fuel prices rebounded from their lowest levels in a decade, exerting upward pressure on motor carrier costs in concert with continued increases in driver wages and benefit.” Fuel costs increased 9.3% from 2016 to 2017 while toll costs increased 9.9%.
The costs of driver wages and benefits also increased by 6.2% from 2016 to 2017. From the report: “Driver wages increased for the fifth consecutive year and the combined cost of driver wages and benefits represent 43 percent of the overall cost per mile … [Since 2012] driver wages have risen 33.6 percent to nearly 56 cents per mile in 2017, and rank as the largest cost center for the third consecutive year. At the same time, driver benefits have surged to 17.2 cents per mile, with total driver compensation reaching 73 cents per mile in 2017.”