Diesel Hits Record Highs

| December 12, 2008

In late June and early July, the pump price of diesel reached a record high for three weeks in a row. The national average retail price of a gallon of diesel increased 6 cents, to $2.408, for the week ending July 11. That’s a 66-cent increase from the same week of 2004.

At 11 truck stops, the midsummer pump price surpassed $3, says Chris Lee, marketing director of ProMiles fuel-tracking software. “We were concerned when it went over $2,” Lee says. “Seeing it push over the $3 mark is something that the industry never really considered.”

Moreover, the traditional summertime escalation of the price of gasoline over the price of diesel has not happened this year. Many analysts believe it is unlikely to happen at all, partially because of the increasing demand for diesel in the new industrial behemoth, China.

“There has been a 3 to 4 percent demand growth increase in diesel, and gasoline is a tad under 2 percent,” says Denton Cinquegrana, market editor for the Oil Price Information Center.

Rising diesel prices have many causes, but turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan is not one of them, he says.

“The war isn’t having an effect on it,” Cinquegrana says. “The demand for diesel is strong around the world. Where the U.S. uses mostly gasoline, most other countries use diesel.”
That demand could sharpen if hurricanes continue to tear through the Gulf of Mexico, the site of many oil production facilities. “I think we are seeing a temporary spike due to the hurricanes,” Lee says.

Landstar owner-operators Harold and Helen Eanes of Christiansburg, Va., former Overdrive Truckers of the Month, are featured in As Long As We Both Shall Live, a documentary project by photographer Robert Fass that focuses on married couples who have been together for at least 40 years. “The movie stars, you know, they get all the press and so forth,” Helen told Fass, “but I think there are a lot of people just like us, that are together and will be together for as long as they live.” The project will result in a book and a touring exhibition. Visit www.longmarriedcouples.com.

Overdrive won eight awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors, which recognizes the best writing and design among trade journals.

Three awards came at the national level, two of them first-place Gold Awards. Overdrive competed in the top circulation category, over 80,000, against many of the nation’s leading trade magazines.

“These awards show that Overdrive’s editors and designers continue to give our owner-operator readers the business and technical information they need to succeed,” says Publisher Brad Holthaus. “No other trucking industry magazine won more than four awards in this competition.”

Among Overdrive’s sister publications, Truckers News won three regional awards and one national award, and Commercial Carrier Journal won three regional awards.
Overdrive’s national awards were:

  • Gold in the how to category, for the “Matchmaking” package, which contained stories by Linda Longton and Tim Barton about choosing a carrier.

  • Gold in the staff-written column category for Max Heine’s Dollars & Sense column.
  • Bronze in the information graphics category, which recognizes charts, graphs and other explanatory material.

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