Fuel for Thought

Don't be obdurate

By Greg Huggins
Posted Oct 11th 2021 8:29AM

The daily grind has been really grinding lately. We still have to deal with this pandemic. We are seeing mandates that not all can agree with. There have been hurricanes. Wildfires. Flooding. We now have to deal with higher fuel prices. And let’s not forget the parts shortages. Now we are approaching winter and all that it entails. Icy roads. Blizzard conditions. More night driving. There was an oil pipeline break. Tires in short supply. Trucks are in short supply. Drivers are shut down waiting for parts to arrive. Ships carrying supplies cannot get unloaded or even to the ports. Professionals in many industries are walking out due to vaccine requirements. It seems everyday it gets a little worse. Just when you thought we were going to turn the corner and move forward, wham! The hits just keep on coming. 

Amidst all the bad news available to you daily, I am today going to try to offer you some encouragemnet for the future. As bad as it seems now, history shows that we have been here before and have gotten through it… and we will once again. No, we haven’t seen a pandemic like this before, unless you count the Bubonic Plague or the Spanish Flu, both of which have affected most populous countries of that time. Many of the shortages are being attributed to the pandemic for disrupting supply lines, and it would follow that inflation would kick in, you know, supply and demand. When supplies are low and the demand is high, costs rise. How many of you remember paying north of $5 for a gallon of diesel years ago? We are almost there again. For those who don’t remember, or were not a trucker back then, it was the restart of the fuel surcharge that you enjoy today. Before that spike in fuel prices, we just had to pay for all the fuel without the luxury of a fuel surcharge to offset the price. Don’t forget what the fuel surcharge is for, it is to offset the cost of fuel you need to deliver a load. It is not designed to pay for all your fuel, but if you get excellent mileage, it certainly can cover the entire cost. Drive smart. We got through it then and we will once more.

The supply lines will be restored. Maybe not when you want it, but it will catch up. Remember last year when you couldn’t find a roll of toilet paper? How long did that really last? Not many recall when the shortage ended, only the frantic buying during the shortage. It really wasn’t even that long, if you think about it. Remember the meat shortages last year? Yeah, it was brief also. 

Instead of moving from the current crisis to the next, Step back, take a few breaths and calmly look at the situation. You can expect shortages for one product or another to continue for some time. Prices will “normalize” again to some level, but don’t expect them to go back to pre-pandemic levels. If you are an owner operator in today’s market, you should be able to cover the extra costs and still be profitable. Don’t become obdurate. Little by slowly we will get back to some form of normality. Stay positive.

P.S. The picture above has nothing to do with this blog, but really, who among you didn’t feel a little better just seeing that?

See you down the road,