Total marginal costs climbed to a new high in 2022 for the second year in a row, increasing by 21.3% over 2021 to $2.251 per mile, according to new research from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
And, though fuel was the largest driver of this spike (53.7% higher than in 2021), multiple other line-items also rose by double digits.
- Driver wages increased by 15.5% to $0.724 per mile, reflecting the ongoing industry effort to attract and retain drivers. Driver benefits, however, remained stable in 2022.
- Atypical market conditions posed unique challenges for acquiring and maintaining equipment in 2022. Truck and trailer payments increased by 18.6% to $0.331 per mile as carriers paid higher prices, largely due to equipment impediments in the supply chains. Closely related, parts shortages and rising technician labor rates pushed repair and maintenance costs up 12% to $0.196 per mile.
- Driver turnover, detention times, and equipment utilization each improved across nearly every fleet size and sector during 2022. This year’s report includes new metrics such as mileage between breakdowns and the ratio of truck drivers to non-driving employees.
- Despite falling rates throughout the year, average operating margins were at least 6% in all sectors. While larger fleets’ average operating margins improved from 2021 to 2022, smaller fleets saw operating margins decline.