Why Are Fuel Prices So High?

07/25/2022 by Turner Lee

Why Are Fuel Prices So High?

It’s no surprise that one of the hottest topics in the world lately is the pain felt at the pump. Rising fuel prices have been at an all-time high, surpassing the costs since 2008, and these prices will only continue to climb. As a result, businesses are being forced to pay more to operate, causing a ripple effect for everyone.

Wait, How Did This Even Start? 

You may be wondering how fuel prices even got to this all-time high. Well, they can’t be blamed on any specific event or occurrence as many different factors that caused fuel prices to surge. 

World Conflict

World conflict is one issue affecting fuel prices, specifically those in Western Europe. The Russia-Ukraine war has been brewing for some time now, and due to attacks, the United States among others, has stopped imports, like oil, coming from Russia.

Russia is one of the world’s largest oil exporters, exporting nearly eight million barrels in one month. The drastic change in accepting oil imports from Russia has caused the price of fuel to rise because it’s not as available as it once was.  

The Dreaded “C” Word

Another catalyst for the spike in fuel prices is the continual effect of Covid-19. I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it, but the world is still feeling the pains of the virus while we aim to return to life. Recently, Covid forced Chinese ports to close for a brief period and now that the ports are opening back up, supply cannot keep up with demand. 

As people try to live alongside Covid-19, office workers are going back to in-person work and people are returning to travel after two years of staying put. With more people leaving their homes, it’s causing a greater demand for fuel while our supply is limited. 

The Effects of These Issues

Fuel prices are affecting everyone, including consumers, and businesses, but those in the logistics industry are seeing greater challenges. That’s because the logistics sector has seen disruption after disruption. First, with the issues started by the pandemic, then the port congestion once businesses began to reopen, and so on to now with increased fuel prices. This industry has barely had a moment to catch its breath. 

Logistics is at a crossroads; with the United States economy looking at a recession, and world conflicts yet to improve, it’s going to be hard for fuel prices to drop back to normal levels until everything balances out.

How Bad is it Actually?

Even though everyone has been hearing and seeing the high fuel prices, how bad are these prices? Well, in June, the U.S. national average price per gallon topped $5, which is 50 percent higher than it was this time last year. Even pre-pandemic prices were at $2.55 average for that month, showing the direct impact that covid and other issues have caused.  

These prices only continue to rise when we talk about the cost of diesel fuel. This type is often more expensive than regular gas, and this is what truck drivers use to fill up their tanks. In June, diesel fuel averaged $5.50 per gallon in the U.S., which is a .50 cent increase from regular fuel. While this increase seems small, when truckers are driving over 500 miles per day, the extra cost can add up quickly.  

President Joe Biden has tried to take steps to lower the fuel prices in the United States. He has called on Congress to do a Federal Gas Tax Holiday, releasing the charges that the federal government has on fuel. Typically, the government charges an 18-cent tax per gallon on gasoline and a 24-cent tax per gallon on diesel, but President Biden has called for the Tax Holiday to give Americans breathing room as they battle other economic issues like inflation.

High fuel prices are not an issue solely faced by the United States. In fact, gas prices in the United States are on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other countries. For example, while the average in June for the United States was $5 per gallon, in Germany, it averaged $8.26 per liter, while one of the highest fuel prices was in Hong Kong, where gas was $10.71 per liter in June.

How Do High Fuel Prices Impact You?

So, how do the rising fuel prices affect those in the logistics industry? Well, let’s take a look.

Shippers

Increased fuel prices mean higher logistics costs because it’s now more expensive to move their products from point A to point B.

Consumers

Consumers see a direct cost increase on products due to the fuel prices. Because it now costs more for shippers to move their products to their destinations, they must also raise the price of their products to continue to make a profit. 

Carriers

The biggest issue carriers are seeing with the high fuel prices is the impact on their income. Their operating costs have increased due to the rising fuel and product prices. And with rates lower than they’ve been throughout the pandemic, many carriers have decided to put a pause on driving until the market return to normal. This could cause added chaos to the market. Should more carriers halt their work, there could be an imbalance in the industry, causing more backlogs and shipping delays as a result.

Trinity is Here to Help

As an experienced third-party logistics company with over 40 years in business, we’ve worked with many shippers and motor carriers through the ups and downs faced in this industry, including this one. We’ve seen it all and are here to help you through these troubling times.

Whether you’re a shipper looking for better logistics management or a motor carrier looking for dedicated freight to keep you consistently moving, you can find all the solutions you need with our People-Centric approach.

Get connected with us today so you can start having Trinity Logistics, a Burris Logistics Company, by your side, no matter the state of the market.