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The National Industrial Transportation League held a Webinar in response to the BNSF’s statement that they were eliminating their fuel surcharge program for carload traffic. The change was set to take affect this month, and Sandra Dearden, President and CEO of Highroad Consulting, Ltd. offered suggestions for shippers when negotiating new rates.  Also interesting is the CSXT’s announcement that they were going to re-baseline their mileage based fuel effective January 1, 2015. Genesse and Wyoming reset their mileage base with a strike price of $3.70 HDF, also effective the first of this year. What do these changes mean?

What will be interesting to see is how all this affects rates and fuel surcharges in 2015 for shippers. As fuel costs increase and decrease, BNSF and maybe other carriers will be making adjustments to their tariff rates, and may possibly implement a new fuel program all together. There may also be more frequent updates to your rates. Shippers should prepare themselves when contracting their rates this year, arming themselves with the knowledge of how much fuel is already included in their base rates and what strategy they will implement moving forward. Does all this sound like too much to manage? It would be wise to have your freight audited as well as your database systems, to ensure that no additional freight was paid in error during this time of fuel adjustment.

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