Gauges – July 2009
National average: $2.50
Matching a low last hit in 2005, the price of diesel began increasing from $2.02 in mid-March. The first week of June saw a 15-cent spike.
At 87 cents for the first quarter of 2009, costs per mile across all segments have not been as low for at least two years, according to financial services provider ATBS. The cost of fuel is the main factor.
Slight freight upturn
The Freight Transportation Index fell 1.2 percent from March to April, its lowest level in seven years, says the U.S. Department of Transportation. However, a separate indicator from Cass Information Systems (see illustration) showed better activity in May, when freight expenditures and shipments increased from April, though they were still lower than in May 2008.
Nearly half of the 202 owner-operators and small fleet owners responding to a recent Overdrive survey access the Internet through DSL and 21 percent through cable. Among laptop users, 92 percent of the respondents use them for business, 82 percent for communication and 74 percent for leisure activities. For accessing the Internet with a laptop, more than 68 percent of the respondents do so with a mobile air card.
Rates increased from April to May across all segments, jumping 9 cents for dry van and reefer and 6 cents for flatbed. The monthly averages provided by Internet Truckstop include fuel surcharges.