Trucking Costs to Escalate in 2019


Following escalation commencing in 2017, large trucking companies are anticipating a 25 percent increase for transport in 2019 compared to the inflated values during the current year.  This projection is made despite the reduction in the American Trucking Association tonnage index for the quarter ended September 2018.


All trucking companies are experiencing increased costs for diesel and especially for drivers.  The inflationary effect passed on to customers is reflected in quarterly reports which highlight increases in total revenue, operating profit and in revenue per loaded mile, an important industry benchmark.


Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc. revealed a 31 percent increase in revenue with the Knight trucking segment increasing operating profit from $8.6 million to $56.5 million in the most recently completed quarter compared to the corresponding quarter in 2017.  Revenue per loaded mile was up by 19.9 percent.


Covenant Transportation Group recorded a 36.2 percent increase in revenue to $243.3 million with a revenue per loaded mile increase of 16.4 percent.


As reported previously in CHICK-NEWS, the shortage of drivers is a restraint to expansion and part of the escalation in trucking costs is due to disparity between demand and available capacity.  J.B. Hunt Transport Services has raised pay for drivers by double digits and T.G.S. Transportation in Fresno, CA has tripled the usual four percent annual wage increase for drivers achieving company standards for safety and fuel economy.