US Economy Tops Trucking’s Worries Ahead of 2024

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Rising costs and slowing freight demand has carriers and drivers most concerned about the US economy, according to ATRI’s annual survey of industry stakeholders.

“The economy—and not in a good way,” is how Rebecca Brewster, president and COO of the American Transportation Research Institute, characterized the top issue facing the trucking industry heading into 2024.

Truck parking, fuel prices, driver shortage, and driver pay rounded out the top five issues, according to more than 4,000 transportation stakeholders surveyed by ATRI, which the CTA is a member of.

Lawsuit abuse reform, driver distraction, driver retention, and detention/delay at customer facilities rounded out the most pressing issues facing motor carriers and drivers.

Trucking total marginal costs hit a new high in 2022 after 21.3% to $2.251 per mile, according to ATRI’s 2023 Operation Costs of Trucking report. Fuel was the main driver of that increase (53.7% higher than in 2021), but other expenses, such as driver wages, went up 15.5% to 72.4 cents per mile.

This was the first time operational costs topped $2 per mile, according to Brewster. “I don’t think it’s going to drop down below that for the foreseeable future.”

To request or obtain a copy of the full report, click here.

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