This paper examines the impacts on truck costs of the most-critical financial and operational variables in long-haul, truckload freight movements. By using a truck cost model developed by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the paper analyzes the sensitivity of truck costs to changes in fuel price, cost of capital, driver wages, tractor price, trailer price, depreciation method, and insurance cost. The effects of changes in operational factors such as truck speed, annual mileage, cargo weight, equipment type, fuel mileage, and percentage of empty backhaul are also shown. Data are drawn from various sources, which include truck-auctioneer data, truck-leasing company reports, U.S. government publications, and the AAR's field survey of rail-competitive truck movements. The principal finding of the analysis is that a reasonable minimum for mid-1979 rail-competitive truck costs is $0.83/revenue (loaded) mile and $0.055/ton-mile. It is also shown that marketing intelligence is of critical importance for making cost estimates, particularly with respect to equipment price and use fuel price and mileage, and driver type and wages. Recent cost increases in these areas (particularly in fuel prices) have reopened some freight markets to rail competition. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 44-50
  • Monograph Title: Surface Freight: Rail, Truck, and Intermodal
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00325464
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309030730
  • Report/Paper Numbers: N763
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 18 1981 12:00AM