The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) is the US’s primary transportation research firm, in charge of handling the country’s Freight Mobility Program, among other endeavors. No self-respecting trucking company is unaware of them. They recently released the 2019 iteration of the “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking”, which noted how 2019 saw an overall increase in the costs incurred by trucking companies, with the average marginal cost per mile going up by 7.7% in 2018, to $1.82.

ATRI’s analysis is made using detail data from carriers across from varying sectors and of different fleet sizes. The “Op Costs” annual research published by the organization analyzed trucking costs from 2008 to 2018, which provides the trucking industry’s stakeholders a benchmark, while also giving the US government and its agencies input on industry finances needed for transportation planning, as well as infrastructure improvement, as explained by ATRI itself.

The 2019 iteration of the ATRI Ops Costs report that that the economic environment in the trucking industry was quite robust, but that environment, in turn, put a lot of pressure on line-item every trucking company have had to deal with, with costs going up.

For the trucking industry, costs went up for every cost centre, save for tires. Notably, fuel costs had its highest year-on-year growth in 2018, of 17.7%. Insurance costs jumped up of 12%, the second highest for the year. Repair and maintenance costs sat at 17.1%/mile in 2018, up by 24% since 2012, which comes across as strange given the record sales that trucks and trailers are experiencing. Overall, operational costs for motor carriers went up by more than 11.6% from 2012 to 2018, far more than the inflation rate during that time period, 10.8%.

On the flip side, driver wages and benefits went up by 7.0% and 4.7%, respectively, as a response to the severe driver shortage that the North American trucking industry, accounting for 43% of all of 2018’s marginal costs.

Cargo Transporters Executive VP Jerry Sigmon says that the 2019 Operational Costs data from ATRI shows the cost increases the trucking industry had to deal with in 2018, and that the data is a useful aid for carriers.