Survey measures level of 2023 trucking cost increases

Sources: American Transportation Research Institute, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

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The American Transportation Research Institute’s 2024 Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking finds overall marginal costs of operating a heavy-duty commercial vehicle hit $2.270 per mile in 2023. While the increase was only 0.8 percent over the previous year, when surcharge-protected fuel costs are excluded, marginal costs rose 6.6 percent to $1.716 per mile. ATRI analyzes line-item costs, operating efficiencies, and revenue benchmarks by fleet sector and size, providing crucial benchmarking for motor carriers and a comprehensive overview of the financial state of trucking for industry and government decisionmakers. 

Institute researchers found 2023 expenses rising moderately across most categories; average costs across line items increased at less than half the rates experienced during 2021 and 2022. Truck and trailer payments grew by 8.8 percent to $0.360 per mile, driver wages grew by 7.6 percent to $0.779 per mile, and repair and maintenance costs grew by 3.1 percent to $0.202 per mile. Truck insurance premiums were the exception to the trend, climbing 12.5 percent to $0.099 per mile after two years of negligible change.