Trucking Costs Drop Alongside Slow Freight Demand
2016 has been a tumultuous year for the trucking industry. Last year, operation costs for truck drivers dropped substantially alongside softer-than-normal economic conditions and slumping fuel prices. According to an analysis by The American Transportation Research Institute, the average marginal cost per mile for carriers was down 6.5 percent in 2015 from 2014.
A noted change in data is that driver wages represent a higher portion of operating costs than fuel. This is the first time this trend has been noted since the organization begin collecting data on North American carriers eight years ago. This trend is expected to continue as a noted driver shortage continues to plague the industry. This is due in large part to a number of veteran drivers nearing retirement.
Given that there aren’t any pertinent factors which would suggest major economic changes on the way, analysts believe that the rates between fuel costs and driver wages. Behind these expenses, equipment leases, repair and maintenance, and insurance premiums are some of the most pressing expenses that carriers deal with in 2016.
Trucking companies have a vested interest in tracking costs in order to adjust their business accordingly. While fuel costs have always been an expense that carriers have had to manage, more efficient engines may help change this in the future. As for trucker wages, this type of expense is more of an investment. If carriers can offer more alluring wages, they will be able to attract better talent and improve their business in the long-term.