Fuel prices may have experienced some drops lately (diesel is down to a national average of $3.28, down from $4.76 last July), but fuel costs are still a major strain on most fleet budgets.
Kevin Knight, chairman and CEO of Knight Transportation in Phoenix, Arizona, addressed the issue of fleet fuel costs in his company’s third quarter statement.
“…Despite the decline in fuel prices, the U.S. Department of Energy national average diesel fuel price for the [third] quarter of $4.34 increased $1.44 above the third quarter of 2007 average of $2.90,” he said. “We continue to focus on improving the fuel efficiency of our fleet through reduced empty miles, decreased idle time, improved fuel purchasing, and controlling out-of-route miles.”
The issue with rising fuel costs is a general lag between any price increase and the necessary increase in a carrier’s earnings. Regardless of compensatory measures like fuel surcharges, there is an operational cost that cannot be made up by anything other than a lowering of prices. The recent drop in overall fuel prices is a good sign, but industry players warn not to get too comfortable; carrier Werner Enterprises issued a recent statement that said “If fuel prices remain stable going forward, the company does not expect the temporary favorable trend to continue.”
It’s important to do everything you can to save money on your fleet fuel costs. Learn better driving habits, adopt the most efficient technologies… and don’t forget that you can cut up to 15% out of your whole fuel budget with a fleet fuel solution from FleetcardsUSA.
Photo courtesy of respres under the Creative Commons License