Yahoo news just ran an article on the effect the high fuel prices are having on the independent trucker and I think that the effect is virtually the same for small family companies. I hear it all the time as I visit the smaller auto transporters that are feeling the squeeze. Flying j has diesel listed on their website costing $3.879 a gallon

PA, Smithton I-70 & Exit 49 3.8790

I’m not sure at this point if it is good for my business or not. I install computer programs and one of the effects of this economy is that people tighten their belt and don’t spend on anything that is not absolutely necessary to try and make it through the tough times. That means that a set-up fee of $500 to $1000 that in the past would have been no big deal can squash or at least delay a set-up. The flip side of the coin is that in this economy everyone is looking for maximum efficiency and so some are realizing that the technology available can decrease stops and empty miles as well as decrease waste caused by missed exits and inaccurate routing so some see the computer as a tool to help them through this tough time. My big question is which effect will be stronger?

Saab pros has posted their rates including what the fuel surcharge will be at different fuel prices on their web site. We may see an upsurge of this type of pricing in the future.


I wonder if they ever imagined they might have to add another tier above $4.50 a gallon.

  Fuel Surcharge:
  Diesel price at pump less than $3.00/gal. Base rate
  Diesel price at pump $3.01 to $3.25/gal. Base + 5%
  Diesel price at pump $3.26 to $3.50/gal. Base + 10%
  Diesel price at pump $3.51 to $4.00/gal. Base + 15%
  Diesel price at pump $4.01 to $4.50/gal. Base + 20%
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  1. steve says:

    It’s definitely going to be a bumpy road as we adjust to increased energy costs and inflationary pressures due to competition for resources from emerging economies. Steel is out of control right now, as are resin-based products. It remains to be seen what the upshot of the mortgage mess will be, but if the past is any indicator, you will probably see credit tightening from the big banks, especially if they’re afraid to loan each other money because they don’t know what is on each other’s balance sheet (asset backed securities, iffy commercial paper, consumer credit loans, etc.) Oh yes, and we’re at war. And it’s an election year. In other words; the shoes will continue to drop in 2008. My gut instinct is that the companies who will prosper will be those who have a clear understanding of how their products or services produce real value for their core customers– and who have an effective strategy for communicating with potential customers. Of course, this statement would hold true in boom times as well as bust– it’s just easier to see during the lean years. 2008 will be a great year for those who know how to get out there and hustle business. Car haulers need to invest time and energy retaining their most profitable business– and reaching out to other prospective customers who are of a similar profile. Anything that can free up time in their work week so they can do this sort of high-value sales and marketing is INCREDIBLY valuable. Time spent doing paperwork that could be automated using the proper software or web-application is time that can’t be spent finding new customers. What car haulers should look at is their top ten customers– what can they do to find more customers that are similar to these? One hour a day spent marketing by phone, email and US mail would yield over 250 hours of sales calls. If you know how to read a phone book and dial a phone, there is no way you can convince me that you can’t find 10 more customers in 250 hours. People need to find ways to stop fiddling around with paperwork and spend time growing their business. In my humble opinion, Steve the salesman.

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