With the new year of 2015 arriving, it seems that there will be some changes to the trucking industry regarding the expenses. As it is common knowledge, fuel and oil prices are plummeting. A year ago, a gallon of gasoline cost about $3. Today, it is around $2 per gallon. For the trucking industry, where diesel engines depend on their fuel, this is exciting news. Lower fuel prices equals savings for trucking companies, including an estimated $24 billion worth of savings annually from these low gasoline prices. Depending on how many gallons the tank is on a commercial truck, it could result in thousands of dollars saved per vehicle. Recently, the American Trucking Association stated that for every penny of fuel savings, the industry saves $350 million.
When shippers received a trucking quote, the price often includes fuel surcharges to cover the fluctuating costs of fuel. However, lower fuel prices means that the surcharge should be lower, and then the price that shippers pay could be lower. That is why shippers are exciting about the potential cost savings from the lower fuel prices.
However, one study suggested that freight prices for trucking could increase as much as 6% in 2015. Some shippers are questioning how rates could increase if fuel prices are down. Part of the reason stems from the other expenses that trucking companies encounter. For example, there is a 40% increase on highway tolls in Illinois in 2015. That is why freight forwarders still offer the most cost-effective solutions for shippers looking to save money.