Fuel Prices Not a Big Problem for Freight…Yet!

May 20, 2011

This story from FleetOwner shows that some freight trucking companies are less than concerned about rising fuel prices due to currently booming business, but even these confident businesses are aware that a change in the wind may be coming:

A strong recovery in truck freight tonnage this March following rough winter weather and a continued run-up in oil prices is allaying fears for the moment that the U.S. economic recovery might lose its footing.


“Despite my concern that higher energy costs are going to begin cutting into consumer spending, tonnage levels were pretty good in March and the first quarter of the year,” Bob Costello, ATA’s chief economist, noted in a statement.

However, while Costello is confident that the trucking industry will continue to grow and recover from the weak freight environment seen in recent years, the rapid spike in fuel prices will slow that growth.  “But as long as U.S. manufacturing activity remains strong, truck tonnage will benefit,” he added..

Going forward, however, high oil prices – and the high gasoline and diesel fuel prices they create – will bear close watching over the next three to four months in terms of how they affect the U.S. economy as a whole and freight tonnage in particular, Starks said.

“Everyone is getting worried because pump prices are now front page news,” he noted. “Will it change the consumer’s buying habits materially? Will they start cutting back on purchasing goods in order to pay for fuel? We haven’t seen that shift yet but it bears watching.”

As we move into summer, fuel prices are expected to go up even more, so now is a good time to start thinking about smart fuel management. Take a moment and see how FleetCards USA can help to save your company money in a volatile market.


Photo courtesy of cupcakes2 and re-used under the Creative Commons license.