The upward shift in estimates follows the Energy Information Administration’s adjusted forecast of the national annual average price for diesel of $2.70 per gallon. It had previously projected a cost of $2.59 per gallon.
In 2005, according to ATA, the trucking industry spent more than $87.7 billion for diesel fuel. The revised estimate means a $10.6 billion increase over 2005 fuel costs.
Looking even further into the future, ATA feels that fuel prices might increase even more in 2006, as new ultra low sulfur diesel reaches the market. The fuel cost more than today’s fuels to refine and distribute.
In remarks at NASSTRAC’s Annual Conference in Orlando earlier this month, ATA president and CEO, Bill Graves, correlated failures of trucking companies over the recent past to the ever-increasing burden of higher diesel fuel costs. Among other measures advocated are an increase in refining capacity and the use of biodiesel in blends to 5% as part of the national fuel diesel standard. Too, Graves noting there are a number of boutique diesel blends currently available, called for a single national fuel standard.
In its fuel price information published on May 8, the Department of Energy showed a range of costs running from a low of $2.814 per gallon along the Gulf Coast to a high of $3.244 per gallon in California.