3rd DAT Carrier Benchmark Survey

The Third Annual Q1 2013 DAT Carrier Benchmark Survey drew 514 responses from DAT customers, including carriers, owner-operators, private fleets and asset-based brokers.

Among the 514 trucking companies who took our online survey, most respondents fell into one of two groups: (1) for-hire carriers with small fleets (an average of 7.8 power units and 16 trailers, in a range from 2 to more than 500) and (2) owner-operators with a single truck that the owner drove under his own authority.

A smaller number of respondents identified themselves as private fleets or asset-based brokers. Because those two groups operate under a different business model, their answers are not included in this report.

Carriers’ Costs Rise Faster than Rates
Throughout much of 2012, we noted that carriers’ costs were rising faster than their rates, and that outlook was confirmed. Year-over-year comparisons illustrate a point that has been made by a number of trucking industry analysts in 2012.

To quote Donald Broughton of Avondale Partners, for example: “…the per-mile costs of operating a truckload carrier are going up at a pace twice that of the pricing power currently being achieved.” In short, carriers’ costs are rising twice as fast as their revenues.


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