ATRI: Cost of trucking fell in 2012 due to driver pay decrease

| September 05, 2013
Graphic from ATRI
Graphic from ATRI

A trucking business cost $1.63 a mile to operate in 2012, according to a recently released report from the American Transportation Research Institute, down 4 percent from 2011 and driven mostly by a decrease in driver wages and benefits, says ATRI’s study. 

That number, however, is likely to spike as fuel costs grow and pressure to increase driver pay, says ATRI’s “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking” report. 

In 2011, trucking cost $1.71 a mile. To use another metric, trucking cost $65.29 an hour in 2012, also down from 2011′s $68.21. 

Driver wages decreased 4.3 cents a mile in 2012, says ATRI, while their benefits fell 3.5 cents. That decrease outweighed the rise in fuel, tire and toll costs. Other factors contributing to the decline in costs include decreases in equipment lease and purchase payments, repair and maintenance, permitting and licensing or insurance premiums, ATRI’s report says.

Fuel costs in 2012 accounted for 39 percent of total costs — the largest documented in ATRI’s five years of research. 

Click here to see ATRI’s full report.

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  • Shawn L Hubbard

    There are drivers who are willing to work for $13.00 an hour, usually ones with horrible driving records. As long as trucking companies continue to prey on these kind of drivers, wages will stay low. Maybe one day, drivers as a whole will develop pride in themselves and their profession and refuse to take such low paying jobs.

  • Guest

    These companies have to battle with SHIPPERS who wont Budge on Shipping Rates even if it means their Product is hauled by illiterate Foreigners…..they beg to have these Cheap Labor non citizens haul the freight….We have an Abundance of Non Citizens in America taking any load they can get their hands on..driving old junk equipment…..I saw a PST trailer on the road the other day in Calif…pulled by some hunk of junk…..about the same time as they ARRESTED that “expert driver” at San Onofre hauling $15Million worth of dope…..Only The Best Will Drive??? Anne Ferro said it…

  • Guest

    Yep I see lots of ads for Class A driver…local work Calif advertized for $12.00 per hour…..

  • Guest

    You can go to any TSA/Fingerprint/Hazmat and TWIC
    Center today in Calif….Most of the drivers getting CLEARANCE by the Feds can NOT speak the English Language…..most are from Mexico……

  • Mind Games

    We let this happen because we are have more sugar in our pants than a drag queen!!!

  • B

    not being a citizen does not make them criminals nor illiterate. it’s your rotten view of the world and of others that keeps you in this victim mentality. go to your truck and cry, it seems to be the only thing you can do.

  • g

    You are probably an illegal alien yourself…I suppose you think all these mexican drivers are here legally?? And how would that be on some type of Hb2 Visa??? I think there are Thousands out here driving truck and taking loads that an American Citizen trucker SHOULD have.

  • g

    Since it does not seem to effect YOU personally I would assume that YOU are either a mexican or married to one OR you are cheerleading from the La Raza office OR you are a company recruiter, dispatcher, executive? Since YOU are NOT a truck driver why not go to the Womens Fashions section where a jackwad like you BELONGS.

  • Ronald Roberts

    Quite frankly, after 20 years in trucking I stopped
    driving this past June because of the d.o.t – h.o.s and the pay is not what it should be!

  • roge160

    You can put blame any where you want and a lot of it is true but not all of it the truth is we have no one to blame but our selves until we all park the trucks and take a vacation at the same time there never going to do a dame thing for us we are at the bottom of the chain as far as most of this country thinks and that is are fault too .We know if the trucks stop so will this county but John Q Osment have a clue and that what is going to take to make the public se how valuable we are .

  • Guest

    Congrats….You have Seen the Light…thousands of truckers are doing the same thing every week across America…either retiring…or just had enuff of Government stranglehold and intervening in every facet of our daily operations as Truckers..gets OLD having some cop hassling you everyday in every way…cant even get ur Job STARTED without these jackasses Probing you and writing expensive Citations.

  • Guest

    Sure…half ads for drivers out west say Chofer wanted por el trookey….48 estados…..habla espanol…..
    Cheap foreign labor is being hired for most trucking positions today….Cops are told to leave them alone and dont question where they come from…..illegal alien drivers fill up every truckstop and every shipper and receiver.

  • imtoopoortocare

    Please let me work for free. I just need a place to sleep.

  • cnorth

    We as an industry have to do something to change the landscape. I see a lot of complaining about the brokerage bond issue. But in reality, it should be at least 10 times what it is. The shippers let these brokers participate in the bidding process against asset based carriers. In some cases even conduct the bidding process. (talk about a conflict of interest) They are able to low ball the rates because of lack of overhead. Then they are awarded the lanes because of the low rate. Now when you need a backhaul you have to take their dirt cheap rates. On top of that they keep the fuel surcharge and half the detention that you are supposed to get. It makes it impossible to give the drivers what they should make when you can’t even break even on your backhauls. And don’t even get me started on the lumper scam that goes on. Incidentally, our drivers average 60K and are home 2 days a week + weekends.