Fuel prices continue to fall, but Roadcheck rates bump fails to materialize

Updated May 27, 2024

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, May 22, 2024:

Diesel hits 2024 low during Roadcheck week, but typical rates rebound misses mark

Following a 5.9-cent decrease during the week ending May 20, the U.S. average diesel price hit a low point for 2024 thus far. Carriers didn’t get the normal benefit of a spike in rates that is typically seen during International Roadcheck week, however.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S.’ national average for a gallon of on-highway diesel fell to $3.79 last week, which is the lowest weekly average since the week ending July 3, 2023.

During the most recent week, fuel prices fell in all regions across the country with the largest decrease being seen in California, where prices fell 7.4 cents.

Despite the decrease, California’s average still remains above $5 a gallon at $5.05. The next-highest average is in New England at $4.17 a gallon.

Carriers benefited from lower fuel, and the Roadcheck week delivered a smidgen of a spot rates bump, but FTR and Truckstop reported it was the weakest such gain in years.

Spot market snapshotData from Truckstop and FTR for the week ended May 17 indicated -- based on rates, at least -- that the spot market was not as stressed as it typically is during the week that includes the International Roadcheck roadside inspection event. Broker-posted spot rates for the three principal equipment types did increase, but not to the usual degree for a Roadcheck week. The dry van and refrigerated week-over-week increases were the smallest for a Roadcheck week since 2020, when the pandemic disrupted both the timing and process for the event. Aside from 2020, van rate gains were the weakest since 2017. The flatbed increase was the smallest since 2019.

The cheapest diesel nationwide is in the Gulf Coast region at $3.49 a gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $3.69.

Prices in other regions, according to EIA:

  • Central Atlantic -- $4.11
  • Lower Atlantic -- $3.79
  • Rocky Mountain -- $3.75
  • West Coast less California -- $4.01

[Related: Roadcheck fails 2024: The best of the worst?]

Veterans-support package of bills would streamline vets’ access to CDL training

A package of bills introduced last week in the U.S. House intended to reform and improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) includes provisions related to CDL training for military veterans.

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The Senator Elizabeth Dole 21st Century Veterans Healthcare and Benefits Improvement Act encompasses a number of bipartisan and bicameral proposals to reform and improve the delivery of healthcare, benefits, and services at the VA for veterans, their families, and their survivors. It was introduced by Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Arizona) with support from House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mike Bost (R-Illinois) as well as Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester (D-Montana), and Ranking Member Jerry Moran (R-Kansas). 

The CDL training-related provisions are based on the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act, introduced last April. It would allow veterans to use their GI Bill benefits to obtain CDL training at a new training facility if that new location’s primary facility has already been approved by the VA, rather than having to wait for the school to be open for two years.

The proposal would also increase reporting requirements for schools that are allowed to immediately enroll GI Bill beneficiaries in CDL schools.

[Related: Award program seeks top military vet rookie trucker, to win donated T680]

Another broker coming to U.S. markets

United Kingdom-based 3PL Speedy Freight announced this week it is expanding to the U.S. with the opening of its first office in the country.  

The company said it’s launching its signature freight and fulfillment solutions in Dallas, Texas -- chosen for its size, central geographic location and high level of commercial activity.

The Dallas office will cater to any and all 3PL requirements, including full truckload, less-than truckload, drayage, expedited shipping, and cross-border operations.

Speedy Freight said it has expertise in many industry segments, including consumer goods and high-volume trade shows, time-sensitive healthcare commodities and more. 

Leading the company’s U.S. sales division is Starr Bollefer, who joined as Vice President of Sales in March.

“Expansion to the USA has always been a goal for the business, and thanks to our outstanding year on year growth, we feel now is the perfect time to open our first North American branch,” said John Munnelly, Chief Operating Officer at Speedy Freight. â€śThe high level of commercial activity in and around Dallas-Fort Worth makes it the perfect location for Speedy Freight, and we’re confident our team will hit the ground running with their personalized logistics service offerings.” 

[Related: Who is hauling all this cheap freight -- and why?]

Truck Parking Club hits 400 locations

The Truck Parking Club, which works with landowners to turn vacant properties into truck parking areas, announced this week that it has surpassed 400 locations on its platform.

Collectively, the company said those properties “offer tens of thousands of instantly reservable truck parking spaces nationwide.”

Truck Parking Club van at truck showAt the Large Cars & Guitars event two weeks ago in Tennessee, Truck Parking Club reps were on hand exhibiting across from the 589s in Semi Casual's booth area. Truckers can browse available Truck Parking Club spaces at the company’s website, or by downloading the Truck Parking Club app on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The company said it’s adding hundreds of new spaces to its network each week, and it anticipates that rate of growth to continue.

“Reaching 400 Property Members has been no small feat and required the combined effort of every member of our team,” the company said in a press release. “From our customer service team made up of former drivers answering every customer call personally, to our property team criss-crossing the country in our vans putting up signage at properties, to our tech team responding rapidly to bugs that arose, getting to this point is a testament to our ability to work together and our dedication to being a big part of solving this problem.”

[Related: New Outpost company aims to deliver on parking shortage, small fleet growth]

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