Driver wages up for a second year

ARLINGTON, VA – For the second year in a row driver costs were higher than fuel costs as an overall percentage of fleets’ operational costs.

Driver salaries increased by an average of 5%, and benefits increased by an average of 18% in 2016, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reports, meanwhile fuel costs went down by only 17% last year.

Those costs impacted the average marginal cost per mile for the year, which was US$1.59 (approx. CAN$3.18 per kilometer), ATRI found, up from US1.58 (approx. CAN$3.16 per kilometer) in 2015.

Driver salaries represented US$0.52 (CAN$0.65 per kilometer) of those costs, up from US$0.50 (CAN$1 per kilometer) from the year before. Driver benefits were at US$0.16 per mile (CAN$0.32 per kilometer), up from US$0.13 (CAN$0.26 per kilometer) in 2015. Fuel costs were measured at US$0.34 permile (CAN$0.68 per kilometer), down from US$0.40 (CAN$0.80 per kilometer) in 2015.

The non-profit research organization released its report Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking this week, analyzing financial data provided by motor carriers during the June to September 2017 collection period. Respondents had a total of 85,305 truck-tractors, 4,359 straight-trucks trucks, and 411,956 total trailers, and accumulated almost nine billion miles (14.4 billion kilometers) in 2016.

The group said a clear underpinning of the data was last year’s soft economy and the implications that had on insurance costs, capacity, and pricing.

Technologically heavy new trucks are also driving up equipment costs for both purchasing, and repair and maintenance, they said.

This year’s report also features the new categories of safety and performance bonuses, as well as incentive amounts that carriers may be paying to attract and retain the best drivers.

The full report can be viewed on ATRI’s website here.

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