Fleet Fuel Prices? What Are They Now?
How many of you forget something that you were going to do today but you won’t remember until tomorrow? I know everyone’s hands would be raised if we were in a fleet fuel seminar. If you forgot what you were going to do today until tomorrow, do you remember where fleet fuel prices have been in the last couple of years?
Are you ready for the possible rising oil price storm that looks like it could hit your fleet fueling budget in 2010?
Let’s take a step back and remind you where fleet fuel prices have been for both diesel fuel and gas. These are DOE national averages so they could be slightly higher or lower in your area. We have never been big fans of the DOE national average for fleet fuel. As one fuel expert once said to me, “It’s like using a globe to find your house!”
Just 24 months ago diesel fuel prices were $3.387 a gallon, gas prices were $3.135 a gallon.
12 months ago diesel fuel prices were $2.299 a gallon, gas prices were $1.72 a gallon
January, 2010 diesel fuel prices were $2.882 a gallon, gas prices were $2.677 a gallon.
If you even remember that this happened, you would say ok, prices came down $1.10 from 2008 to 2009 and went up 60 cents from 2009 to 2010. That story in itself would be pretty dramatic seeing that a $1.10 decrease would be 33% reduction in fuel price from 08 to 09 and a 60 cent increase would be a 21% increase in fuel prices.
The story that takes place in the middle is crazy with fleet fuel cost. How about nationally peaking diesel fuel cost at $4.771 in July 2008. What about the low diesel fuel cost of $2.023 in March 2009. No, we didn’t forget about gas that still powers most of our cars. Gas prices topped nationally at $4.099 in July 2008. They hit rock bottom of December 2008 at $1.642.
Yes, I can see the bulb in your head coming on and saying, I remember price swings but $4.099 to $1.642 a change of $2.457 a gallon in less than five months, wow. Wow for sure. Were you and your company carefully watching your fleet fueling cost at that time? I know you were worrying, saying, “what are we going to do?” But were you managing your fleet fuel costs?
Here we are one month into 2010. Are you going sit around wait until things going crazy. Remember most of us didn’t think 2009 was crazy for diesel fuel prices but you did watch them go from $2.09 to $2.88 during the year. Almost 80 cents a gallon or a 28% increase in your fleet fuel costs. Remember that most fuel forecasters are predicting $95 crude oil prices in 2010. That would be over $15 a barrel more than where we were for most of 2009. The economy is going to turn around here, and there are 1.6 billion people in China wanting fuel.
Don’t forget, plan your fuel management now while you remember.