During the recession of 2008-2011, costs rose for the trucking industry. Transportation costs and fuel costs were higher, leading to a gradual increase in the costs of operating an intermodal trucking company like Calhoun Truck Lines.
Fortunately, a new report shows that the costs has eased somewhat in 2012. Overall average costs to operate a truck fell 4 percent in 2012, down from a 10 percent increase from 2010 to 2011. The report, titled “An Analysis of the Operation Costs of Trucking 2013 Update” showed that while the average costs of operation for a truck fell slightly, increasing fuel prices and more pressure to raise truckers’ pay is contributing to a higher level of costs for the trucking industry.
Costs per mile fell to $1.62/mile from 2011’s $1.71/mile. The study showed that costs for those LTL (less than truckload) carriers dropped to nearly $180/mile, from 2011’s $1.93/mile.
While the lower average costs would initially indicate a forward progress for trucking, these are being offset with high costs of operation for other areas. Higher fuel costs, increased tire costs, and costs of traveling through tolls are still higher.
For most carriers, the majority of costs still come from fuel costs and driver wages. All of this comes at a time when many trucking companies are looking at the cost-savings benefits to switch to natural gas, writes the Dallas Business News. The industry is always seeking qualified drivers, and Calhoun Truck Lines is no exception. High fuel prices, more freight needs, tighter regulations on the trucking industry, and an older workforce adds up to higher costs across the board for truckers.
The American Transportation Research Institute manages this study on an annual basis, contributing essential economic research to encourage trucking firms to manage their trucking fleets and fuel costs accordingly.