Diesel prices on slow downswing after recent spike

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022:

Diesel prices coming back down after BP refinery fire

Since fuel prices spiked two weeks ago due in part to the BP refinery fire, diesel’s national average has been creeping back down to near $5 a gallon, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. 

Diesel prices had fallen as low as $4.91 before jumping more than 20 cents during the week ending Aug. 29. Over the last two weeks, diesel’s national average has fallen 3.1 cents and 5.1 cents, respectively, to $5.031 per gallon. Spot rates nationally, meanwhile, mostly held steady during Labor Day week.

During the most recent week ending Sept. 12, prices fell in all regions across the U.S., with the most significant decrease being seen in the Central Atlantic region, where prices fell 8.9 cents, followed by the Lower Atlantic region, where prices fell 8.5 cents.

The nation’s most expensive diesel is in California at $6.16 per gallon, followed by the West Coast less California at $5.22 per gallon.

The cheapest fuel is in the Gulf Coast region at $4.76 per gallon, followed by the Lower Atlantic region at $4.87 per gallon.

Prices in other regions, according to DOE, are:

  • New England -- $5.09
  • Central Atlantic -- $5.13
  • Midwest -- $5.09
  • Rocky Mountain -- $4.96

ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices fall by 4.4 cents, bringing its national average to $5.06 per gallon.

According to ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $6.35 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $4.73 per gallon.

Spot market freight rates, meanwhile, were slightly down as a national average last week, to $2.63 per mile, according to Truckstop.com and FTR Transportation Intelligence's weekly Market Demand Index update. All metrics were down for the holiday week, as is to be expected, yet load posts fell farther than truck posts, sending the MDI down. Compared to last year, the MDI is down 78.5 points, or 58.9%.

Compared to last year, rates are down 12.8% all-in overall.

Last week dry van and reefer rates added a penny, while flatbed lost about the same amount.  

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J.J. Keller expands ELDT trainer certification to include hazmat endorsement training

To help trucking companies and their trainers provide the instruction that meets the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations, J. J. Keller & Associates now offers a hazmat endorsement option for its J. J. Keller Safe & Smart ELDT Trainer Certification Program.

“Under the ELDT rule, attaining the hazmat endorsement requires a very specific curriculum that includes theory instruction followed by a theory assessment with the driver-trainee receiving a score of at least 80%,” said Dustin Kufahl, director of driver training at J. J. Keller. “We prepare trainers to deliver this training by making sure they understand every aspect of the content, and then work hands-on with them using the exact types of vehicles their drivers will be operating in.”

J. J. Keller’s ELDT Trainer Certification Program -- Hazmat Endorsement certifies a company’s trainers to train entry-level drivers who want to earn their hazmat endorsement, allowing drivers to operate a vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placards or to transport any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

Training topics covered include hazardous materials requirements, loading and unloading hazardous materials, emergency response procedures, safety permits, route planning and more.

[Related: 'Entry Level' truck driver training: With FMCSA's new regs looming, old-school training ways survive]