ATA revises 2006 fuel projections
Apr 27, 2006 1:59 PM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has revised the trucking industry’s 2006 fuel costs, projecting an increase in the amount it will spend on fuel in 2006.
ATA said the trucking industry will spend $94.3 billion on fuel this year, based on current fuel price forecasts. This marks a $6.6 billion increase over the $87.7 billion spent by trucking in 2005.
Bill Graves, ATA president, said the trucking industry currently is experiencing the highest fuel prices in history. For many motor carriers, fuel represents the second-highest operating expense, accounting for as much as 25 percent of total operating costs.
“An affordable supply of diesel fuel is imperative to keep our trucks moving,” Graves said. “Fleets must be guaranteed sustainable operating costs in order to continue delivering everything that is delivered by truck.”
Trucking serves as a barometer of the US economy because it represents nearly 70 percent of tonnage carried by all modes of domestic freight transportation, including manufactured and retail goods.
Trucks are projected to haul 13 billion tons of freight by 2016, up from 9.8 billion tons in 2004. Motor carriers collected $671 billion dollars, or just under 88 percent of total revenues earned by all transport modes.
ATA said fuel prices could increase further in 2006 because of the introduction of ultra low sulfur diesel, which is scheduled to hit the market mid-year. ULSD costs more to refine and distribute than today’s diesel fuel. This could place additional upward pressure on the price of diesel fuel.
To alleviate future significant fuel price fluctuations, the trucking industry supports long-term strategies that would increase the diesel fuel supply. These include increased refining capacity, the use of biodiesel in blends up to 5 percent as part of the national diesel fuel standard and environmentally sound exploration of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
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