The American Trucking Associations today revised upward the trucking industry's 2006 fuel costs, projecting motor carriers will spend $98.3 billion on fuel in 2006.
The revised estimate follows a release by the Energy Information Administration of an adjustment in its 2006 forecast of the national annual average price of diesel from $2.59 per gallon to $2.70.
EIA forecast increased ATA's April 25 estimate of the trucking industry’s fuel bill by $4.0 billion dollars and represents a $10.6 billion increase over the $87.7 billion spent for diesel fuel by trucking in 2005.
ATA said fuel prices could increase further in 2006 because of the introduction of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), which is scheduled to hit the market mid-year. ULSD costs more to refine and distribute than today's diesel fuel. This could place additional upward pressure on the price of diesel fuel.
To alleviate future significant fuel price fluctuations, the trucking industry supports long-term strategies that would increase the diesel fuel supply. These include increased refining capacity and the use of biodiesel in blends up to five percent as part of the national diesel fuel standard, ATA said.