The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) published their 2018 Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking report analyzing trucking costs from 2008-2017. The report found that increased trucking activity in 2017 pushed operating costs per mile to rise 6%, most of which was driven by increasing driver wages and benefits and rebounding fuel prices from the Great Recession in the early 2010s. Now that the economy has recovered, diesel prices are projected to remain near their current level ($3.26 per gallon) and will continue to be a high impact on operating costs. But with the driver shortage continuing to persist, carriers have also had to offer higher wages and benefits to remain competitive. These additional expenses alongside capacity restraints, will only continue to increase operating costs.
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