Diesel prices dip again as rates softness continues

Updated Apr 30, 2023

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, April 26, 2023:

Diesel prices’ tumble resumes; spot rates present mixed picture

Last week’s slight uptick in fuel prices ended a 10-week run of declines for diesel’s national average, but the fall in prices resumed during the week ending April 24, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

According to EIA, diesel’s national average fell 3.9 cents over the last week to a national average of $4.08, the lowest since the week ending Feb. 21, 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Diesel prices are now $1.08 lower than the same week a year ago.

During the most recent week, prices fell in all but two regions -- Rocky Mountain, which saw a 2-cent increase, and the West Coast less California, where prices crept up a fraction of a cent. 

The most significant decrease was seen in the Gulf Coast region, where prices fell by 5.3 cents, followed by the Lower Atlantic region, which saw a 5.2-cent decrease.

The nation’s most expensive diesel is still in California at $4.96 per gallon, followed by New England at $4.52.

The cheapest diesel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.82 per gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $3.98.

Prices in other regions, according to EIA:

  • Central Atlantic -- $4.45
  • Lower Atlantic -- $4.00
  • Rocky Mountain -- $4.12
  • West Coast less California -- $4.46

ProMiles’ numbers during the same week saw fuel prices fall by 0.7 cents to $4.20 per gallon.

According to the ProMiles Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $5.31 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.80.

Spot rates overall strengthened during the same week for flatbeds, but vans and reefers continue to soften. 

Truckstop/FTR April 24, 2023, spot market overviewRough run for vans, reefers in spot market | Dry van and refrigerated continued to see spot rate softness in the latest week, according to the latest weekly update from FTR Transportation Intelligence and the Truckstop load board, “but rates could be close to bottoming out,” they said. As shown in the charts above, total spot rates in the Truckstop system actually increased during the week ended April 21 -- on the strength of the flatbed segment, where rates ticked up more than 3 cents/mile to just about $2.60 all-in. Dry van and refrigerated each saw rates ease slightly, though they were mostly flat after the prior week produced the largest rate drops since January for both. Based on seasonal expectations, van-segments rates might begin firming within a couple of weeks, according to FTR/Truckstop. Volumes remain almost 50% below levels posted in the same week in 2022, though load posts on the Truckstop board rose almost 8% last week. It was the largest weekly gain in seven weeks. Loads were up week-over-week in the three largest regions for volume -- South Central, Southeast and Midwest.

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Driver named Highway Angel for helping fellow trucker suffering stroke

The Truckload Carriers Association has named truck driver Ty Hinton, from Georgetown, Louisiana, a Highway Angel for coming to the aid of a man having a stroke in a truck stop parking lot. Hinton drives for Melton Truck Lines out of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ty HintonTy HintonOn Feb. 15 around 11:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City, Hinton witnessed a man collapse on the ground due to a stroke. The event took place in a Flying J Travel Center parking lot. Hinton recognized the life-threatening situation immediately since he learned the signs of a stroke at an early age, so he called for medical assistance for the driver in need.

“I heard something hit the side of my truck, and I saw the guy stumbling by the side of the trailer, kinda hanging on to it -- it was pretty obvious right away,” he said. “Just looking at the guy -- slurring his speech, the left side of his face was not working; I called the EMT and got them to come to the truck stop.”

Hinton even called the man’s wife letting her know what was happening, then waited with him and spoke to the wife until EMTs arrived to take him to the hospital.

“I just wanted to make sure he was as comfortable as possible,” he said. “I know strokes can be bad enough to be fatal, and I wanted to give him the opportunity to hear his wife’s voice -- if I was going through that, I know that is the one person I would want to hear; my wife.” 

[Related: Truckers Final Mile makes it official with TFC Global partnership]

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