Average Marginal Trucking Costs per Mile, United States, 2008-2020

Average Marginal Trucking Costs per Mile, United States, 2008-2020

Source: The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking: 2018 Update.

Trucking is a highly competitive industry since it has low barriers to entry. The two most significant operating costs of trucking are fuel (20-30%) and wages and benefits (35-45%). Jointly, they account for about 65% of all costs. Fuel costs are those having the most fluctuations as they are external to the industry. There is very little flexibility in this cost structure, implying that fluctuations in energy prices cannot be mitigated well and impact the low-profit margins of the industry (less than 10%) directly.