How Cost Effective is Road Transport: The Cost per Mile of Trucking

Posted : 10/29/12 2:58 AM

Rising fuel and labor costs have made it increasingly difficult to squeeze a profit out of road transport in recent years, but the cost per mile of trucking has always been more complex than just paying the driver and the fuel bill. Figures released by The Truckers’ Report puts the operational cost per mile of truck transport at $1.38 but anecdotal evidence indicates that it is closer to $1.50 per mile. With the trend in recent years for this cost to increase by as much as 10c per mile every year, it can often be profitable to re-evaluate the use of road transport to be sure that it is still cost effective. If the basic transport rate for a truckload of products adds $1,500 per 1,000 miles then the sale price of those products potentially has to be high enough to cover that cost and more. For some products, especially primary products, this expense makes road transport less cost effective than other options like rail or sea. At the other end of the spectrum are the high end products that have profit margins which merit more expensive transport, like air freight, because of the savings that can be made from having less capital tied up in inventory that is in transit. Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the location to which the freight is being delivered. This can add to transport costs because of the necessity to pick up loads from docks or rail yards, in effect double handling the goods. There are also added expenses to be considered with alternative transport methods such as port charges or freight storage which can make truck transport a more viable option. The key then to use truck transport in a cost effective manner is to choose the right kinds of freight to send by road. Trucks carry the largest percentage of all of the freight being transported across the US and so trucking will continue to be a vital part of our economic infrastructure but at the same time, with dwindling fuel resources changing the nature of the industry, we need to learn to use this resource intelligently in order to maintain its viability and profitability. Used in conjunction with other modes of transport trucking can still be one of the best value freight options available. Contact to find the most cost effective transport options for your business and its products.