The average variable cost to run a truck in 2012 fell about 5% from the previous year to $1.63 per mile, as carriers had to cut costs to cope with soft freight volumes in a weak economy, the American Transportation Research Institute said in a report issued Sept. 4.
The decline from $1.71 per mile followed two years of increases, said the report from the research arm of American Trucking Associations. ATRI said its report was based on financial and operating data that can be used as a benchmarking tool by fleets and government agencies.
“An uncertain economic future means we have to be ever diligent in watching costs. ATRI’s report provides critical financial data for carriers to use in benchmarking fleet performance and seeking opportunities for improved operations,” Phil Byrd Sr., CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express and ATA’s first vice chairman, said in a statement.
Now in its fifth year, the report has shown operating costs fell in 2008 and 2009 and rose in the following two years.