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 Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

· All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Download: Material Handling Technology Survey Results
Readers are buying and replacing warehousing and distribution center software, but not before they do their own homework.
Download Today!
From the July 2017 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Shuttle and case dispensing technologies help Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits keep up with demand in one of the most competitive markets in the country.
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
Automation: What’s at the heart of your system?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Warehouse Execution Systems (WES): The Pathway to Same-Day Fulfillment
This webinar explores the processes and technologies enabling same-day, same-hour order fulfillment using intelligent supply chain software.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits: Designed to Last
On Long Island, the country’s premier distributor of wine and spirits turned to shuttle and case...
GE Healthcare System Report: Lean repairs
Self-driving mobile robots improve cycle times and reduce floor space at GE Healthcare’s new...

Materials Handling Innovation (and why it matters)
Every company considers itself an innovator. It’s time to include materials handling leaders in...
Thrive Market’s Startup Distribution Network
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive...