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Vital Statistics



The Cost of Doing

Trucking moves the “lifeblood” for South Carolina’s citizenry. Whether it’s the basic raw material input for everything we need, or the final product or service consumed, trucks and their drivers constitute every other link in critical supply chains.

In fact, while much is interconnected, each has its own unique supply chain, and trucks are the only link that serves every phase, many of which require lots of movements in between. Phases involve loading, unloading – even transloading, pre-processing, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, assembly, and finally retailing before it’s home.

Trucking enables all of this seamlessly and has grown as the central cog in the endless rotation of the wheel of South Carolina’s complex and growing logistics and supply chain sectors. Our state has emerged as a major hub in the Southeastern U.S. supply chain. And trucking is the vital connection that allows a multi-modal transportation system to function efficiently. It is why as a state we’ve attracted people, workers, and businesses of all sizes to launch, grow, and thrive here.

As we first mentioned, “trucking” isn't just about moving goods down the highways; it's woven into the fabric of everyday life for the people of South Carolina. 79.8% of our state’s communities rely solely on trucks to deliver the products we all need. With that fact alone, you might not want to imagine what happens if they become less available…if we can’t find the professionals to pilot them. These scenarios come closer to reality if we allow poorly conceived or premature mandates, taxes, and abusive opportunism to creep further into this essential but operationally-challenged system.

These should be top of mind for our state’s leaders. 2022 (the most recent data available) marked the costliest year on record since they’ve been tracked by the American Trucking Research Institute. The overall cost to operate a truck reached an unprecedented $2.251 per mile. Fuel expenses, of whatever type, certainly contribute significantly to operating costs - and they can vary wildly. But equipment cost, repair and maintenance, auto liability insurance premiums, tires, and wages ALL reached record-high levels as well. Escalating costs have implications not only for those who move our stuff, but also for enterprises and consumers who want the most cost-effective and efficient chain movement.

Each and every turn of those wheels compounds expenses, leading to price increases and negative impacts on the economy as a whole. Unfortunately, none of these are going to go down. But there are ways to reduce the inflationary curve, and we are working with policymakers to try.

We delve into those challenges throughout these pages and invite you to become better informed. After all, now you see how trucking is everybody’s business.

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