What Does a Higher Fuel Cost Mean for Trucking?

Although the average consumer may not realize it, the trucking industry sustains the United States economy. Every year, trucks transport over 70% of all freight, nearly 11 billion tons. This massive amount of transported goods requires millions of trucks and drivers. Transportation also requires fuel—a lot of fuel. Annually, almost 40 billion gallons of fuel are spent in transportation. Because diesel fuel quite literally powers the U.S. economy, higher fuel costs substantially impact trucking. Rising costs influence trucking in two primary ways: increased baseline expenses and decreased consumerism.

Increased Baseline Expenses

Increased expenses are probably the most obvious influence. Rising fuel pricing means higher costs every time a fleet is sent out. Greater travel expenses may cut down the number of fleets on the road, lowering product movement. Because the trucking industry sustains the economy, lowered movement could adversely affect the economy as a whole.

Decreased Consumerism

Higher fuel costs affect consumers too. For example, if a college student pays a dollar more per gallon of gas, he or she may be less willing to go out for dinner, purchase new clothes, or go to the movies. These items are freight transported by the trucking industry. With less consumer spending, the industry could slow. Once more, this puts the entire economy at a standstill.

Are Low Fuel Costs Always Good?

Not necessarily. While the trucking industry would save on baseline expenses, the oil industry suffers. Millions of jobs are invested in oil. If employees lose their jobs, the economy faces a similar standstill. Consumerism decreases because former oil industry employees cut back on spending. Demand for freight decreases and the industry slows.

Balanced, controlled fuel costs are ideal. Of course, maintenance of cost is next to impossible. Because the oil surplus is constantly fluctuating, oil prices fluctuate as well. So, what can the trucking industry do to respond to wavering fuel costs, especially higher costs?

Suggestions to Fight Fuel Prices

  1. Slow Down: Decreasing speed increases fuel efficiency. If you are able to slow down without hindering productivity, do so.
  2. Plan Smarter: Better planning also plays a role in fuel efficiency. Don’t simply drive and deliver without in-depth planning. Strategize every stop in advance, minimizing time spent on the road without cargo. Extra, unnecessary driving wastes fuel.
  3. Cut Costs: One significant way to cut outside costs is by using plastic pallets. While plastic pallets initially look more costly than wooden pallets, their durability proves to be an excellent investment. They are lightweight, which increases fuel efficiency by diminishing weight load, and have an incredible lifespan.

A Plastic Pallet Source

While fuel costs are rising, making other positive investments can alleviate some financial strain. Plastic pallets fall into the positive investment category. Plastic Pallet Pros is a perfect solution for your plastic pallet needs. We have multiple categories to choose from, according to your specific needs, including used pallets. Our used pallets provide excellent transportation solutions, cutting costs without compromising quality. If you have any questions, contact our knowledgeable staff today. We are happy to assist you.