Pricing of commercial concrete: how do concrete batching plants calculate the cost?

The most common way to provide concrete for a site is to order it from a batching plant. Suppliers of ready-mix concrete form a comprehensive service for construction.

What do they include into the cost of production and delivery of the concrete mixture? Let’s find out!

Average cost of commercial concrete

The average cost of concrete is about $119 per cubic yard.

The price per cubic yard of mix can go up or down by $50 depending on the state. While in New York State you’ll pay about $135 per cubic yard, in Texas it’s about $95.

Why is the difference so tangible?

There are several factors which affect the average cost of mix in the states:

  • transport infrastructure

The final cost is affected by the delivery time of concrete mortar, which in turn depends on the quality of highways in various states.

Industrial construction requires a large volume of concrete mix. As a rule, such facilities as factories and areas of mining and oil extraction etc. are located far from populated areas and stationary concrete plants. Therefore, it is much more expensive to provide such projects with concrete.

As you know, roads are not good everywhere. The farther away from major cities, the smaller area of roads is quality asphalted. Highways connect most communities, but in the distance from major cities, only dirt roads and sometimes no roads are paved.

It is more difficult to pass on insufficiently compacted soil. Self-loading mixer loaded with concrete will easily sag or even get stuck in the middle of the road. If such a situation occurs, mixers will be filled with mixture only up to a half of it`s full capacity to make them lighter. Then delivery will take twice as long. Consequently, the price of concrete you order will also increase.

Problem with transportation can be solved in another way. Builder has to strengthen the ground in the area where concrete mixer can’t pass. However, this will entail additional money and time costs.

Terrain topography also affects speed of delivery. Slope angle or elevation of road makes a loaded mixer with several tons of concrete drive much slower.

Traffic intensity also has an effect on the transportation. Traffic jams within the city boundaries and on highways increase delivery period at times.

All concrete batching plants have a certain radius of delivery, for which they charge a minimum price. Usually, it is a radius within the city limits, where you can deliver mixture in an hour and a half or less. If delivery time increases, the plant will have to use chemical additives in the mixes to extend concrete life cycle.

  • population density

Concrete batching plants are always located near large settlements, because it is profitable to provide all urban construction with concrete. The smaller the city, the smaller the number of concrete batching plants around it.

Because of the small number of plants, mixers can raise the cost of their services. Also if the construction site is remote, mixers will have to travel long distance and the cost will therefore increase.

  • mortar components

Although concrete mix is made up of simple components, they can be difficult to source and deliver in some states, which ultimately raises the mix cost.

Some components must be imported from the mainland to produce concrete on various islands. Consequently, the cost of material increases, which is reflected in marketable concrete prices throughout the area.

  • climate

Ideal concrete mix temperature is about 68°F. Weather conditions are not always favorable for concreting in some states even during construction season. In the southwestern United States – Southern California, Arizona – climate is dry and hot, with summer temperatures reaching and staying around 104°F. High temperatures cause fluids to evaporate quickly from commercial concrete and cause the mix to worsen.

These conditions increase concrete cost not only because of additives added to the mix, but also because of required special manufacturing and shipping conditions.

  • features region of construction

Regulation of construction industry (including building materials market) directly affects pricing not only in concrete industry, but also in the rest of the construction areas.

Construction market structure varies from state to state and directly affects pricing. Taxes differ on transportation and concrete production.

In some states, regulation of the building materials market imposes obligations on concrete plants that they must comply with.

It is important to take into consideration national legislation, various subsidies, exemptions, and administrative restrictions.

There is also an unequal distribution of skilled labor in the States. There are regions where major construction is taking place, but there is a shortage of labor with the necessary skills. Because of this, wages are much higher than in other regions, where, conversely, the labor exchange can be oversaturated.

So how does this affect the cost of commercial concrete?

Cost increase of qualified concrete testing lab technicians or technologists at a concrete plant directly affects the price of your order.

One of the implicit influencing factors is presence of a large facility. In industrial cities, all concrete batching plants exist mainly by providing concrete to the city-forming enterprise.

Enterprises enter into multi-year contracts with concrete batching plants to provide a mixture for continuous construction of new facilities. Therefore, in such cities, factories give priority to large enterprise and pricing depends on it.

Speaking about large construction projects, concrete batching plants will always give preference to customers who need a supply of large mortar volume. It is much easier for a plant to provide long-term and large orders than a one-time concrete delivery.

These aspects vary from state to state. Therefore, we will give you the average cost of commercial concrete in several regions.

StateNew YorkTexasFloridaNebraskaCalifornia
Pricingfrom $127from $95from $100from $115from $133

It is worth saying that cost here is per cubic yard of concrete mixture on gravel crushed stone and without taking into account other aspects that affect the price.

Factors affecting the cost of commercial concrete

Concrete delivery from a concrete plant is a complex service that imposes many additional costs.

So what is the final cost of concrete mix?

All plants have their own technological charts for the production of concrete, values in which differ for each region. They take into account various factors that affect the cost:

  • concrete grade
  • mixture quality
  • seasonality

Each order is calculated according to these technological charts. When calculating the cost, accountants take into consideration many other aspects not covered in technical charts and make a surcharge on the original price, such as taxes and fees imposed by State law on the components of the mix. Also added to the cost of your order is wear and tear on equipment during concrete production and delivery. However, these factors have a negligible effect on the overall price of mix.

There are other aspects that add significantly to cost of commercial concrete:

  • components
  • additives
  • concreting duration
  • distance
  • date and time of delivery

Owners include in price the costs of marketing and advertising the business.


As we said before, different cost of materials for mortar production depends on the State.

Many concrete plant owners have their own sand and crushed stone quarries, cement plants, and sometimes they own construction contractors.

Monopolizing an entire phase of construction allows owners to reduce the cost of concreting, from aggregate mining to concrete placement, while maximizing income from orders and setting their own pricing policy.

Also, the price increase results from your choice of aggregate materials. It is not for nothing that we specified that the average cost by region is given above per cubic yard of concrete with gravel, which is used in most mixtures.

If your formulation specifies granite or expanded clay as a coarse aggregate, concrete batching plants have a separate price list for you.

Cost will increase by about 10% per 1 cubic yard of mixture with granite crushed stone. Granite is the most expensive aggregate for concrete production

Expanded clay is also a coarse aggregate, which is foamed and baked, making concrete mortar resistant to moisture and chemical effects of caustic alkalis, carbonic acids, and water.

It is not a natural material that is produced specifically for making concrete and other mortars. Therefore, the addition of keramzit to concrete affects the cost of mix about the same as granite crushed stone:15% per cubic yard.


All chemical additives (that are needed for your mortar) also affect the final price of concrete.

Some batching plants will add the cost of additives they have used to maintain the selected grade of concrete taking into account the weather conditions in the region.

You have to negotiate with concrete batching plant about the use of additives in mix that are required by formulation. If your building project requires addition of substances to achieve certain properties of concrete – fluidity or higher strength – the price will increase.

The difference in cost again depends on the location where mix is made. For example, delivery of all materials and chemical additives to peninsulas and islands takes place mostly by air or sea, which greatly increases final price of components. Also, there are significantly fewer concrete plants that produce and deliver the mix in such area.

Concreting duration

How long it takes you to unload mix at the pouring site greatly affects the cost of ordering concrete. After all, you delay the mixer, which could have already gone back to load the mixture to bring another batch to you or just go to load for another order.

Most concrete batching plants set a “standard unloading time.” This is how long it takes for concrete mixer to unload the entire volume of mortar. Countdown starts when mixer arrive at facility.

You are given approximately 30 to 60 minutes for unloading, based on the volume of concrete mix in the mixer.

Few people usually meet the established time because of all construction processes, force majeure and slow workers. Therefore, you pay an average of $3 per minute extra for the time that concrete mixer is delayed due to your circumstances.

It is worth saying that for large projects and in monolithic construction, concrete is needed in large quantities. When you order a mix of 100 cubic yards or more, it’s impossible to quickly concrete a site. There will be lines of 10 concrete mixers to your site.

There is no way mixers can pour concrete mix at the same time. Unless, of course, it’s two different pouring sections and there are two teams of concrete workers on the construction site who can place the concrete at the same time.


A large transport area is a problem for all construction projects that are remote from cities. After all, the farther the object, the more you have to pay for transporting the mixture.

Suppliers set a certain price for the distance traveled to calculate the cost for covered way.

In this case, customer will pay for journey, calculated in miles.

Concrete batching plants calculate the maximum distance they can deliver concrete mix and then divide it into cost ranges. Typically, distance a customer does not pay for is 20 miles.

If the distance between the plants and the construction site is more than 20 miles, you pay about $9.50 extra for each mile.

Logistical constraints play a role in calculating the price for delivery. Mixers can’t go on every road in the city. For example, the movement of concrete mixers is often obstructed by bridges etc. There are also weight restrictions on bridges themselves. There are situations when a road is blocked because of repairs or a city event.

Then mixers have to find a way around, which increases the duration of delivery. Consequently, the cost increases.

Delivery date and time

If you want to order mortar from a concrete plant, it is better to do it as soon as possible. Concrete batching plants usually have orders scheduled months in advance. You should not count on luck, especially when we talk about areas of the states where there are very few suppliers.

Sometimes concrete plant suppliers can go ahead and give you a markup on your order because of the urgency.

The same situation happens with operational time. Almost all concrete batching plants work until 6 pm. They won’t delay a minute to load you up with at least one more mixer. Even if you have a huge monolithic slab and a lot of concrete mixers standing by your facility. If you’re holding up workers, you’ll probably have to pay extra for the extra load outside of their working hours as well.

Some construction projects are only done at night. Usually, such projects are connected to urban infrastructure, where construction work (including concreting) can interfere with traffic.

Construction zone with skyscrapers and cranes at night. New and modern architecture building structure in Dubai city, UAE.

Then developers have to negotiate with concrete factories for delivery during off-hours at a cost that is much higher than the market rate.

Adding all the factors and cost of the concrete mix itself together, you can get quite an impressive sum for just one cubic yard of concrete.

If small projects have no way out (other than making the mixture themselves), they order mortar at the retail price of concrete plants.

If you have medium or large construction projects, where the necessary volumes of concrete number in the hundreds of cubic yards, you can count on bulk discounts. Suppliers reduce the total amount of delivery by 20-30% if the total volume of concrete ordered exceeds 100 cubic yards.

How profitable is it when compared to the cost of concrete mix?

Let’s try and calculate the price of 1 cubic yard of 3000 psi mix.

For a cube of 3000 psi concrete you will need:

  • 1,894 pounds of sand
  • 2,308 pounds of gravel
  • 560 pounds of cement
  • 47 gallons of water (assuming water is present on site)
Average cost
Cement$130 metric ton
Gravel$25 metric ton
Sand$ 9.90$ metric ton
Cost of materials for concrete$53
Average cost of 1 cubic meter of concrete without additional costsfrom $119

The difference between real cost of mixture and cost of concrete when ordering from the concrete plant is visible with the unaided eye. In this case, delivery cost does not include a surcharge due to transportation and other above-mentioned costs.

It is possible to produce concrete mortar at the site yourself. Then you may optimize costs at the concreting stage. However if you decide to do this, you need to choose the right equipment or special equipment that will cover the construction site’s need for concrete.

You can produce concrete directly at your site in several ways. One of the most optimal is Carmix self-loading concrete mixers. Guess why?

Let’s take a stationary concrete plant for comparison. The fact is that when you install a stationary concrete plant, not counting the purchase of raw materials and the equipment itself, you spend money on:

  • assembly
  • staff salaries for its maintenance and operation
  • purchase of a front-end loader for loading aggregates and a mixer for transporting concrete

Operation is only possible at one site. If you want to move it, you will have to spend time for reinstallation.

A mobile concrete plant is a multifunctional and compact special equipment. It fully automates the process from material loading to concrete mix unloading. You need only 1 operator to use it.

You don’t have to spend time assembling it and you don’t have to think about how to transport the mix to the pouring site. Carmix can also easily go on a trailer to take it to another construction site.

Most importantly, you use it to produce concrete mix at cost price. Looking at the table above, you can see that you’re optimizing costs by roughly half.

Full cost of commercial concrete along with delivery will be different from what was originally stated in the price list of the concrete plant. If you take into account the duration of delivery, the cost of renting a mixer, various chemical additives and features of the composition of your concrete, the price will come out already higher than 1.5, or even 2 times per cubic yard. Especially when it comes to construction more than 60 miles from the plant.

When you produce concrete with a self-loading concrete mixer, you incur other costs: purchase or rental of machinery, its maintenance and purchase of concrete mix components.

Then the question arises, “How will Carmix reduce costs?

Let’s look at the numbers.

Carmix 3500 TC mixes 4.6 cubic yards of concrete in a 15-20 minute cycle. Batching plant will produce up to 120 cubic yards of mix, in an eight-hour shift.

If we take the average market price of 2500 psi mortar per cubic yard of $119, Carmix can produce a volume worth $17,136 in a day. Let’s subtract from this the operator’s salary, the cost of purchased raw materials, maintenance of special equipment, fuel and lubricants and other expenses.

As a result, a concrete mixer with a self-loading function saved its owner about $ 5,712. At the same time, the equipment fully provided a medium-scale construction in 1 day of operation.

This is a clear example we can give you. In the realities of the construction process, the production of the mix right at the site, of course, will not go so perfectly.

A similar volume of concrete mortar may not be in demand at the site in one day, and concreting may be stretched for a week or more. But that’s exactly what happens when you order delivery by mixer truck.

Carmix, on the other hand, gives you advantages that don’t directly affect the cost of the concrete you make, but will reduce the overall cost of the entire concreting process.

With a carmix concrete mixer, you can schedule the production of concrete yourself: you can produce concrete whenever you need it and at any volume.

For example, if you need concrete at night and only need 1 cubic yard, you don’t have to make separate arrangements with concrete batching plants and pay higher than usual costs.

Carmix makes the mortar right on site, so you save the time it would have taken to deliver it. By the time mixers are driving to the site, a self-loading concrete mixer will have produced and unloaded several batches of mix.

Special-purpose machinery, due to its running properties, can independently unload concrete on the site of pouring. All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive transmission allows you to overcome the rough terrain, bumps, to withstand a road slope of 30 ° and get as close to the facility as possible. In most cases, you do not need any additional equipment like concrete pumps for concreting.

Carmix features like these speed up the construction process and thus optimize costs.

If you are ready to buy your own aggregates, want to monitor quality of raw materials and quality of the concrete, choose the timing of the mortar production and concreting of the object, then the production of mixture directly on site with the help of Carmix is the solution for you.