Basic numbers and how the money flows, within a trucking operation.  This is based on average numbers, from the knowledge I have within the industry.  We use mileage and most common freight bill amounts on average.  We are also breaking down the standard mileage starting point, amongst the carrier group.  Looking at a load Mileage, and breakdown.


  1.  Trucking Operation-  This is just a single operation, just call the company Regional, they maintain within a sector, in the Home Turf, most are by corner of the country SE, NE, NW, W, SW, E, NE.   Yes they do overlap and it all depends on the carrier.  Customer calls, books freight, Outbound, Texas to Washington.  Mileage on this lane will be 2,145 miles Loading to Unloading.  The Load Planner, is very aware of the mileage coming out, is costing money at times.  So they need to maintain a budget of $2.35 per mile average rate gross.  They are need to maintain the average over quarterly.  This is $5040, to deliver the load per average rate.  I have see loads leaving that area commonly $1 per mile outbound.   They do not sit long…..the carriers all want in and out.

Now that you have an idea, Let’s look at operational numbers for these.

At the $2.35 rate avg, these company numbers will look about as follows, they all differ.  Large Carrier are performing on volume, most are self insured, they know the statistics of the operation.  We are talking about normal backwoods, truck drivers.  Considering this type of operation from above.

$2.35  Gross

.50 per mile driver payroll

.14 per mile Maintenance Cost

.25 per mile Insurance

.65 per mile fuel cost

.35 per mile truck costs

.23 Dispatching

.11 Factoring fees


Leaving the operation with .46 per mile, potentially, not including any additional profit centers within their system.  Why do they broker freight? Extra earnings, including have Agents for both sides building their fleet…… They may have factoring costs of 5% to get 48hour pay for the invoice, to operate.  They may be have 10% dispatching rate ……….Here is another example-

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Container operations-

Typically have Truck agent operations, they are small fleets of the carrier.  Carrier collects, approves customers, Agent has trucks and freight.  Carrier – 20%, Agent 80%, Owner Operators Lease to Carrier through Agent- Owner Operators earn 70-75% Industry avg.  Gross.  O/O is responsible for his drayage, fuel, tires, ect.  $120 per load is common drayage cost, some could be $60 per load automatically because some do not run into port.  Agent keeps balance from agreement with Carrier, and drivers.  Agents with 10 trucks average about 100-150 per truck per week avg.  Yes their are a few making more but on avg, their checks at a minimum 10 trucks will earn $1500.


Towing and Recovery-  Rollbacks and wheel lift operations, 10 mile towing mileage, per $65 standard automotive, $65 per hour of operation time, Driver pay averages 22.5, and have seen it less.  Fuel is primarily local, While Rates for Class A Operations, Just say a recovery bill, can be as high as $75,000 for load recovery, Avg tow is around the $85-105 average rate, 10 mile tow, as high as $350 per tow.  Trucks of the operation have a huge factor of billing.  Rotators get paid more per hour, and charge premium rates, while the twin screw rollback pulling forks may be used daily at rates of $95 per trip, and have 10-12 local trips daily……

Owner operators- The numbers when you lease to a carrier should break down similar to

1/3  Truck- Insurance, Tag, Payments, Registration, 2290

1/3 Driver

1/3 Fuel-

This is commonly seen with the cheaper freight.  Working with higher priced freight will allow extra earnings for a Fleet owner.  Volume does help in the case of fleets of 10-11 trucks leasing to a Carrier.

Truck repair bills can be pretty high.  The joke in the office was if you put your truck in the shop its an easy $2500 bill.

Larger Carriers will have labor costs below .43 per mile for the whole operation and average 6.5mpg.

Brokers of the The big trucking companies, all earn excess of 30% margins on the broker operations, many times paying the owner operators less than they pay their trucks.  On JB Hunt’s website, they want you as a 3rd party carrier, to all JBHunt 14 days minimum dispatching exclusive JBHunt freight.  JBHunt websites clearly says they will charge a minimum brokerage fee of 30% of the gross.  So the profit from those 3rd parties, who pay $8-10k per year in Insurances, will earn less that they Owner Operators, that are truck owners and operate with the big carriers name on the door.

Watch them change their website now…….

I think that is a pretty good run down on what you can expect.  Rough numbers of average freight rate by type of trucking operation.

Independent Operations, not large carriers

Containers- $2.45 per mile one way billed, these must be taken and then returned to port. Two way driving.

Power Only $2

Towing- $65 Car, $95 Forklift, Recovery $85 per hour Auto, $175 per hour Class A

Reefer- $2.35 per mile

Flat $2.35 per mile

Stepdeck- $2.45 per mile

Equipment $3.50-$5 per mile average 6 axles or more generally are between .75 to $1 per mile per axle on the ground.

Dry Van $1.85-2 per mile

Driveaway – Depends, can be per hour,  or per trip, can be per mile. I have known of guys getting $1.50 per mile, can be stacks of trucks, buses, rv’s, cars..

Brokers make in avg of 15%.  I know of some that make 50%.  They get the difference of Carrier bill and Customer payout for transport rate

Agents have their own freight, many time freight and trucks.  Most agents and dispatch will make between 5% and 12% of the load gross.

Over Weight, and Over Dimensional freight pay premiums depending on the equipment and too many factors to tell you an average.  Tanks, pay different rates, silos pay another, equipment and fall off loads pay another.



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