ATA revises report on industry fuel costs
Dec 16, 2005 9:24 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has revised the trucking industry's 2004 fuel costs and projected an increase in the amount it will spend on fuel in 2005.
"Motor carriers continue to face significant pressures from high fuel costs," Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer, said. "The revised fuel costs further demonstrate the urgency of our situation."
Despite recent dips in both diesel and gasoline prices, ATA said the trucking industry will spend $87.7 billion on fuel this year. This marks a $2.7 billion increase over the previous estimate of $85 billion issued in September.
ATA also reported that motor carriers spent $65.9 billion on diesel fuel in 2004, $3.3 billion more than the $62.6 billion originally calculated.
ATA reconfigured the numbers after the government issued new data on fuel consumption.
Despite recent fluctuations in energy prices, diesel costs remain the number one concern of motor carriers, Graves said.
For many motor carriers, fuel represents the second-highest operating expense, accounting for as much as 25 percent of total operating costs.
Higher fuel costs are hitting the trucking industry as it prepares to accept Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, scheduled to hit the market in mid-2006, and a new round of lower-emission diesel engines mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2007, ATA noted.
Each of those market changes is expected to impact the trucking industry, driving operating costs still higher. ULSD could add between five cents and 13 cents to the cost of producing and distributing on-road diesel fuel. New engines, meanwhile, are expected to cost more and burn more fuel.
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