Trucking costs hit record in 2022: ATRI


Final yr it price greater than a mean $90 per hour to function a truck, breaking the 2021 document as the most costly yr in trucking, the American Transportation Analysis Institute (ATRI) says.

Whole marginal prices recognized in ATRI’s up to date Evaluation of the Operational Prices of Trucking survey spiked to US$2.251 per mile – a 21.3% enhance over 2021 with gas prices included. With out gas, the rise was 12%. Nonetheless, driver wages, truck funds and upkeep prices additionally rose sharply final yr, driving a powerful enhance in complete marginal prices.

Regardless of the rising prices, fleets managed to enhance some operational elements similar to driver turnover and tools utilization, ATRI says within the report.

ATRI costs
(Supply: ATRI)

Whereas gas prices have been growing lately, they spiked in February following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, inflicting associated prices to extend nearly 54%. Nonetheless, in Might 2023 the typical weekly worth for diesel dropped under $4 a gallon for the primary time since February 2022, signifying the present return to pre-invasion costs. (All figures in US {dollars}.)

Driver compensation

The trucking business’s makes an attempt to retain and rent drivers are mirrored within the 12.3% enhance in complete driver compensation. Driver wages grew over 15%, and ATRI says that is the quickest tempo it has noticed to this point.

On common, carriers spent greater than 90 cents per mile on driver pay and advantages mixed. However whereas bigger fleets elevated firm driver wages greater than the smaller fleets, the smaller fleets (with 100 or fewer energy items) nonetheless spent 7.7 cents extra per mile than bigger carriers.

Proprietor-operators’ pay was additionally elevated to a mean of $2.08 per mile final yr, which was a brand new document excessive.

Not like 2021, the typical truckload fleet’s driver advantages prices and pay elevated in 2022, as did fleet measurement. However this tendency was even stronger for specialised carriers’ drivers.

Truck driver pay variations

“The scale of this pay differential is partly as a result of many small fleets on this sector had extra extremely specialised operations, which frequently included supplemental pay or bonuses – similar to load-specific oversize or loading pay – that bigger fleets had been much less prone to supply,” ATRI explains within the report.

The hole between LTL driver wages and truckload driver wages decreased in 2022. LTL carriers paid a mean of 78 cents per mile in driver wages – up nearly eight cents since final yr.

The common driver profit price was 28 cents per mile for LTL carriers, exceeding every other fleet sector. The profit prices have additionally elevated in specialised and truckload sectors – suggesting fleets are keen to handle long-term monetary commitments, ATRI suggests.

ATRI trucking costs
(Supply: ATRI)

Gear funds and upkeep

Regardless of the irregular market situations that posed distinctive challenges for buying and sustaining tools in 2022, many carriers had been keen to switch growing old tools and enhance effectivity. For instance, the typical truck age decreased by one yr since 2021, right down to 4.7 years.

However that got here at a value of an 18.6% spike in truck and trailer funds, which turned the best annual change in that price heart since 2014. The prices went as much as $0.331 per mile.

Those that acquired vans within the first half of 2022 needed to pay a premium due to the restricted provide. Many different carriers purchased massive volumes of vans within the second a part of 2022 when provide was bettering. Nonetheless, such a requirement affected the additional enhance of truck costs, ATRI explains.

Truck restore and upkeep additionally elevated by 12%, making up the business common of $0.196. This enhance is decrease than in 2021 resulting from carriers’ steady efforts to switch growing old tools.

purchase costs
(Supply: ATRI)

In 2023, the entire quantity spent on vans, trailers and their upkeep will depend upon two elements – the necessity to proceed changing outdated tools and broader macroeconomic developments that can form the comfortable freight market, ATRI says.

“The bearish economic system in 2023 will create appreciable uncertainty for carriers, who might want to fastidiously monitor and prioritize prices so as to preserve monetary stability. Regardless of an antagonistic financial local weather, the trucking business has made strides over the earlier two years – in newer tools, extra aggressive driver compensation, and improved operations – that put it in a very good place to satisfy these challenges,” it concludes.


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