Schneider National, Inc. said it is endorsing FuelSurchargeIndex.org as "an improved alternative to the fuel surcharge mechanism used by carriers and shippers for more than 35 years." This product of ProMiles Software Development Corp. gives shippers a precise, accurate calculation of their carrier’s cost of fuel for every load moved, said Schneider. It also provides users with visibility to fuel costs that can be audited and verified at the time of shipment.
"The best fuel surcharge program offers neutrality for both the shipper and carrier, low-cost of administration, verifiable/auditable data and a direct link to the day and route of a load," says Mark Rourke, President of Transportation Services at Schneider National. "FuelSurchargeIndex.org accomplishes all of that and more. It’s an easy-to-use system that creates fairness and simplifies fuel surcharge calculations. It’s time to replace the antiquated US Dept. of Energy process with one that makes sense for everyone in the transportation community. We are very excited to put this tool to work for our customers."
He notes that fuel surcharges first became a hot topic in the transportation industry in the mid-1970s, when the US Dept. of Energy (DOE) created the National Retail Average to compensate carriers for the volatile fuel prices of the OPEC oil crisis era. It operates the same way today as it did back then: Each Monday, a representative group of 350 truck stops/travel plazas report their retail diesel prices, which the DOE uses to issue the national average diesel price for that week. In turn, the national average becomes the baseline for the weekly fuel surcharge rate billed by the carrier.
Instead of using the DOE’s weekly average of national fuel costs, FuelSurchargeIndex.org provides shippers and carriers with accurate fuel prices on over 5,500 truck stops that are updated every 24 hours and specific to the route that a load is actually traveling.ProMiles currently provides 52 of the 58 states/provinces with the software and data needed to administer compliance audits for International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), International Registration Plan (IRP) or Hours of Service programs for thousands of carriers nationwide.
"Shippers are scrutinizing their energy spending more carefully than ever before and want to better understand how carriers arrive at a fuel surcharge rate," says Tony Stroncheck, president, ProMiles. "The FuelSurchargeIndex.org tool, backed by our company’s data collection expertise, provides both the data integrity and visibility into fuel cost information that today’s shippers need."