Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Some Cost Data Related to US Chemical Shipments

The Internet was searched for truck, rail, and barge costs data related to chemical shipments in the United States.

Data was found that suggests that approximately $46 billion was spent by chemical companies in the US to ship their products in 2013.  This represents a shipping cost to revenue ratio of about 6% (total chemical sales in 2013 believed to be about $812 billion).  Reducing this ratio by 1% could save approximately $5 billion.

Data found suggests that the cost per ton mile for shipping by truck in 2013 was in the $0.30 to $0.35 range.  And, shipping by rail was in the $0.06 to $0.07 range.  Assuming this data is approximately correct, truck shipments were about 5 times more expensive than rail shipments in 2013.

Although truck shipments were more expensive, 2013 data suggests that about 68% of all chemical shipments were by truck, 22% by rail, and most of the rest by barge.  Truck shipping allows for greater flexibility, smaller shipments, and more on-time deliveries.

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