Fuel Price Volatility Continues to Pose Challenges for Supply Chain Managers

Prices have risen a cumulative 12.8 cents over the last three weeks.

By ·

Diesel prices shot up nearly 10 cents to $4.022 this week, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The 9.5 cent gain represents the largest weekly increase since the price moved up 6 cents to $4.034 the week of November 11, and it is the first time weekly prices topped the $4 per gallon mark since reaching $4.027 the week of December 3.

Prices have risen a cumulative 12.8 cents over the last three weeks. Prior to that, prices had been down for seven straight weeks, falling a cumulative 14 cents during that span, and for 12 of the previous 13 weeks.

Since reaching a more than four-year weekly high of $4.15 per gallon the week of October 15, diesel prices have gone down a cumulative 13.2 cents. What’s more, prices have been below the $4 per gallon mark for eight consecutive weeks prior to this week.

The average price per gallon is up 16.6 cents compared to a year ago at this time and ahead of the 7.7 cent annual gap from a week ago.

In its recently updated short-term energy outlook, the EIA is calling for diesel prices to average $3.97 per gallon in 2012 and $3.84 in 2013, with WTI crude oil is expected to hit $94.26 per barrel in 2012 and $88.38 in 2013.

As previously reported, regardless of the fluctuation in diesel prices, shippers are cognizant of the impact diesel prices can have on their bottom line—for better or worse. And they continue to be proactive on that front, too, by taking steps to reduce mileage and transit lengths when possible as well as cut down on empty miles.

And even through shippers want to adjust budgets in order to offset the increased costs higher fuel prices bring, it is not always an easy thing to manage.

The focus from a supply chain management perspective, according to shippers, is more on utilization and efficiency by doing things like driving empty miles out of transportation networks.


Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

All Topics
Saddle Creek Resources
image Optimizing Omnichannel Distribution through Outsourcing
The omnichannel business model has fast become the gold standard in today’s marketplace as retailers and ecommerce companies recognize its potential impact.


Latest Whitepaper
eBook: Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is More Important Now
Explore the benefits of supplier collaboration including sharing demand forecasts, faster reactions to demand or capacity changes and well-coordinated product launches.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...
34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...

2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...