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Shippers, Truckers Face Diesel Prices 22 Percent Above A Year Ago

Trucks.com

Diesel prices have jumped 22 percent from a year ago and stand at their highest level in 41 months.

The average price of diesel reached $3.24 per gallon Monday, up from $2.54 a year ago, according to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration fuel pricing report.

This is creating higher expenses for businesses that need to ship goods.  

Diesel prices are expected to continue their climb and could hit $3.50 by the end of 2018, said Noël Perry, an industry analyst and principal with Transport Futures.

“The demand for diesel globally has been through the roof, partially because the economy has been going gangbusters all over the world,” Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst of Price Futures Group, told Trucks.com.

Diesel prices have risen for eight consecutive weeks, according to the EIA.

Shippers are picking up the tab. That’s because there is more freight that needs to be moved than available trucks. There are about 6.6 loads for every available truck trailer, according to DAT Solutions, which tracks freight and rates. A year ago, there were 3.5 loads per every van. The larger imbalance this year gives truckers and motor carriers the ability to negotiate higher fuel surcharges to cover rising expenses.

Motor carriers charged customers a fuel surcharge of 31 cents per mile last month, up from 24 cents a year earlier. Meanwhile the spot trucking rates for a standard trailer have risen 29 percent to $1.85 per mile from a year ago, DAT said.

“With the economy as strong as it is, trucking companies still have a lot of pricing power because shippers want to move their goods,” Flynn said.

“The only people that really don’t like higher fuel prices are shippers and consumers, who will have to pay more for a pair of jeans at the store,” he said.

Truckers are adapting to higher fuel costs by investing in more fuel-efficient trucks and aerodynamic trailers to increase their mileage.

While the national average fuel economy for semi-trucks is about 6.5 mpg, Henry Albert, an independent trucker from Statesville, N.C., said he gets 10 mpg because of his focus on fuel efficiency.

If that was the national average for trucking fuel efficiency the industry would save $24 billion and 9.7 billion gallons of diesel fuel annually, according to the North American Council for Freight Efficiency

Truckers are adapting relatively low-tech ideas such as covered wheels, trailer aerodynamics and low-rolling resistance tires to save fuel. The adoption of automated manual transmissions also is increasing fuel efficiency, according to NACFE.

“If you think diesel prices are too high, you have to figure out a way to use less of it,” Albert told Trucks.com. “Everything on my truck is set up to increase my fuel mileage, whether it’s the engine, trailer aerodynamics or my tires.”

There are varying views among industry and government analysts as to how much higher oil and fuel prices will rise.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, a sweet crude oil, surged to above $71 per barrel on Monday, putting prices at a three-year high.

Flynn said oil could hit $84 per barrel this year.

The EIA forecast pegs WTI crude at an average $66 per barrel this year, up from $51 in 2017. The price per barrel is expected to fall to $61 in 2019, the EIA said.

Higher prices are leading to increased U.S. crude oil production. Oil companies are expected to extract an average of 10.7 million barrels per day this year, up 12 percent from 9.4 million barrels produced daily in 2017, the EIA said.

Excess inventories of stored oil around the world are now at their lowest level in more than three years after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, and Russia cut production back following a glut of oil that drove down prices.

Drillers in the U.S. are responding.

The number of rigs in the U.S. has jumped 15 percent in 2018, according to Baker Hughes data.

Texas, which has the majority of oil rigs in the U.S., has seen a 14 percent jump this year.

North Dakota has posted a 21 percent increase in its rig count in 2018. Business is slowly returning after the fracking industry was devastated there when prices dropped to around $30 in early 2016 after soaring to nearly $100 a barrel in 2014.

“We are certainly expecting to see higher prices than we have seen over the last several years,” Jonathan Cogan, spokesman for the EIA, told Trucks.com.

“We don’t see any immediate relief at the diesel pump in the near term,” he said.

https://www.trucks.com/2018/05/16/shippers-truckers-face-diesel-prices/

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4 Responses to Shippers, Truckers Face Diesel Prices 22 Percent Above A Year Ago

  1. Jolly Roger says:

    The price of diesel going up 22% will justify price increases of 50% at every store. This is a good way to hide monetary inflation to help keep the illusion of a functioning economy alive.

    With the surplus of oil that the world is ankle-deep in, gas prices should be dropping through the floor, but too much of the illusory economy is dependent upon keeping them high. Gotta keep the game going to keep the theft going.

    A lot of the starvation that occurred during the Great Depression was the result of it being too expensive to get food to the markets (cities). That scenario is now being forced upon us by artificially high gas prices, and many people may starve to death for this charade.

  2. Mark Schumacher in LV says:

    American Nationals continue to get the fuel shaft. They use this bullshit like saying the economy is booming. Problem is, it’s booming in shit hole countries, while American Nationals continue to go deeper and deeper into the abyss.

    They’re using this conman math using other countries to decide how American Nationals are fairing.

    We, as Americans are suffering big time, having to carry other countries baggage.

    Please answer me this people, how are you doing? Do you feel like your life is better? How’s that bank account looking kids?

    Cops getting $104,000 pensions?

    • Bud Fox says:

      What are you seeing for diesel prices out there, Mark? Have they risen like the article is saying? My car is diesel and it has gone up about .30/gal locally over the last 3 weeks.

      • Mark Schumacher in LV says:

        161.6 gallons. $627.00. Just yesterday in Pennsylvania. That doesn’t include the 7 gallons of DEF fluid @ 2.64 a gallon or the reefer fuel at 15 gallons.

        I don’t pay for the fuel, my comp does. Thank God I’m a company driver, owners operators are getting the shaft right now. They get a fuel surcharge which helps a lot, but they’re paying 125 an hour for a mechanic.$225 for a steer tire

        Insanity

        $775 for a rotate steers, balance one steer tire and a all wheel alignment and one new steer tire installed

        Drive tires are less money, but not much less.

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