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Freight looks a lot different now than it did in 2020, and the same goes for the diesel market. Looking at the most recent data provided by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), as demand for diesel fuel increases, prices have been going up with that demand.

Source: Energy Information Administration


As you can see from the graph above, diesel prices are much higher in 2022 than they were in 2021. At such a high point already, it’s difficult to tell what future diesel prices will look like. When diesel stays expensive, rates are going to have to increase as well to account for the rising fuel expenses taken on by carriers.

Already a cost saver compared to over-the-road trucking, intermodal transport is a smart choice for logistics companies when faced with steep diesel prices.

On top of helping carriers offset the costs of fuel, intermodal freight transport is dealing with less fuel overall since the bulk of the trip is completed on the rails. One ton of freight can move 480 miles on the rails with just one gallon of fuel, making it very efficient. The average semi-truck only gets around 7 miles per gallon, so cutting back on truck mileage is a guarantee to save any company money on carrier rates.

A volatile diesel market is a detriment to both customers and carriers. Cutting out the prospect of high fuel costs by going intermodal is imperative to keep freight moving efficiently and economically.

We delve further into this topic in our diesel series, showing how truck drivers are able to benefit from intermodal trucking, therefore making intermodal an optimal choice for shippers. We go over the decreases in mileage & fuel expenses, the intermodal effect on a carrier’s net revenue and the benefit truck drivers get in staying close to home.

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