Truckers are feeling the heavy burdens of rising diesel prices, causing a chain reaction to higher prices in the supply chain market. At the end of March 2022, prices were US $5.25 per gallon, reaching the second-highest amount in our nation’s history.
Truck drivers make their money by hauling loads and have FSCs to help cover the rising prices of diesel gas, but carriers do not get paid for deadhead trips, also known as empty miles when a carrier is operating their truck without a load also known as an “empty trailer”.
The rising diesel prices mean the cost of empty miles is starting to add an additional $2,000-$3,000 per tractor in 2022 as reported. This presents a problem for the smaller trucking companies, who typically do not have the large corporation perks, like newer equipment and assurances for fuel economy programs. Owner-operators especially feel the crunch as most of these costs come out of their pocket, only some companies, but not required, pay their truckers for deadhead miles.
It’s not likely that carriers will be absorbing the deadhead costs, but there is some hope that these prices won’t be here to stay. According to Brent Crude Features, fuel prices may be temporary, as the global reports mark that fuel barrel prices have decreased from early March from $130 a barrel to $108 per barrel. In addition, Freight Waves cites that “Wholesale diesel prices, which are highly correlated with futures prices, have been declining in recent days as well.”