Are You Still Adding Fuel Surcharges?

Posted on January 14, 2015 by - Also by this author

Just bring back those gassin-up good times.
Just bring back those gassin-up good times.

With the average price of a gallon of gas in Missouri down to $1.75 and Texas being $1.88, according to GasBuddy.com, operators are hard pressed to justify tacking on a fuel surcharge. Quite frankly, it is an insult to the intelligence of our well-heeled clients.

Central California, my neck of the woods, is dotted with oil rigs like Oklahoma and Texas. Oilfield workers are being laid off left and right, leaving a wake of financial grief in my community. In a direct hit to our business, we had an oilfield support company cancel an employee transportation contract the day before Christmas. That meant daily van and bus routes were canceled as the employees would no longer need a ride. That means the drivers I employed to perform those daily routes were also laid off as I can't put three guys to work full time when I have a full house and lost just under $8,000 a month in revenue and have vehicles sitting idle.

I changed my pricing model at the beginning of the year to a single rate for everything, so the fuel surcharge was eliminated anyway by coincidence. I was happy when I received a memo from Flyte Tyme Worldwide advising of their fuel surcharge elimination. My website pricing was changed to the single price structure, getting rid of all the “plus this,” “plus that” charges completely. Under each price is a statement in red letters that states, “A fuel surcharge may be added,” so when the prices go sky high in the summer we can easily add them back in.

For now, my pricing structure is set to incorporate all of the costs associated with running the company, including credit card fees, fuel costs, wages, airport taxes and vehicle payments. I want it to be as simple as buying something at Target. You see the price on the shelf and that's what you can expect to pay other than sales tax in most states. It just seems to be a more logical and progressive way to do business.

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