Fuel costs have been rising, and they’re only continuing to increase. Americans are feeling the effects of these rising fuel costs across the country, with gas prices spiking as a result of the ban on Russian oil imports amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine. In early March, gas prices eclipsed those seen during the 2008 recession. In fact, the average gas price in the U.S. reached over $4 for the first time since 2008.
While these surging fuel costs are affecting the way consumers spend, they’re also impacting business costs. This is why it’s important for business owners to understand how these prices may affect them both directly and indirectly through increased service provider costs.
How Gas Prices Are Affecting Businesses
Businesses that rely on delivery vehicles and other types of service vehicles and fuel-powered equipment will need to pay higher costs to continue operations. In turn, they’re likely to increase the costs of their services to keep up with the rising fuel costs. Because of this, the businesses they serve will wind up spending more on a variety of services. In turn, this will lead them to reconsider how they spend their budget as they also wind up with higher costs.
The following are a few ways in which the increasing fuel costs will lead companies to spend more on certain services.
Waste management companies rely on a fleet of trucks to complete their services. To help these companies maintain profitability and achieve an acceptable operating margin, they may charge a fuel surcharge and environmental fee.
The fuel surcharge is directly attributed to the national average cost of diesel fuel, which the Energy Information Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy reports every month via the Monthly Retail On-Highway Diesel Prices Index. Using this index, waste management companies can accurately calculate the fuel surcharge that customers will need to pay.
Meanwhile, the environmental fee would cover the company’s costs and expenses required to maintain operations that are safe and environmentally friendly while maintaining profitability. The company’s total costs will factor into the environmental fee they charge customers, as opposed to simply costs connected to the customer.
In addition to waste management, the fuel costs for shipping services have increased dramatically.
Shipping fleets also rely on many types of trucks and other service vehicles to complete deliveries of various goods. They’ll be more expensive to operate as fuel costs rise. As a result, shipping companies will need to increase their costs to help cover these increasing expenses.
The increasing fuel costs will also impact international shipping efforts, including ocean shipping operations. In fact, marine fuel prices are increasing at faster rates than landside fuel costs. These costs pass down to cargo shippers and businesses that purchase imported goods. As of February, ship fuel costs reached just below the costs seen during the 2008 recession.
Many businesses rely on commercial fuels to power their vehicles and fleets, from independent contractors to large corporations. As all of these B2B industries see increases in fuel costs, those expenses will be reflected in operational costs. This means that businesses should prepare to see increases in commercial fuel costs and prepare their budget accordingly.
What Businesses Can Do to Maintain Cost-Effectiveness During Rising Fuel Costs
With the cost of certain services inevitably on the rise, it’s important for businesses to do what they can to keep their operations consistently efficient and profitable.
One of the best ways to keep costs affordable and boost profits is to conduct a utility service audit. Utility auditing of commercial fuel and other types of utilities can help you identify areas of inefficiency or anomalies that could lead you to spend more than you need to spend on these services. Along with auditing the commercial fuel costs for your business to operate, you can also conduct an audit of electricity, water and sewer, and natural gas. Discover potential refunds and other opportunities to save in these areas.
Waste Removal and Shipping Audits
In addition, you can conduct an audit to assess the costs of waste removal, shipping, and freight to determine how much you can save as fuel costs rise.
Businesses often overlook waste removal, unlike goods and services and utilities. This is because waste removal falls beyond the property. As a result, business owners forget about the costs associated with these services. When outsourcing waste management, dedicated companies manage the collection, disposal, transportation, and monitoring of waste material. These steps all contribute to the cost of waste removal services.
Rising fuel costs are only going to result in higher costs for customers. Audits can help determine if waste removal companies are charging the right price based on the market. They can also determine if there are ways to optimize the efficiency and subsequent cost-effectiveness of these services.
Shipping audits can also help companies save money on shipping and freight costs by looking closely at invoices for any inconsistencies. In the process, audits will help gauge the health of the supply and delivery chain. The auditing process will entail the following:
- Reviewing courier shipping contract rates and comparing them to market costs
- An analysis of shipping routes and methods to identify opportunities to use more efficient ones
- A comparative analysis between multiple shipping providers to confirm whether the current services are most appropriate for serving the client’s market
Adapt to Rising Fuel Costs With the Help of Util Auditors
Reliable auditing services can help you save more money on utilities, shipping, freight, and other services as fuel costs increase. At Util Auditors, we provide comprehensive auditing services using innovative technology to help identify inefficiencies and savings opportunities.
We can then make recommendations based on our findings, with reports accessible to our clients through our client portal. We also go beyond other auditing services to help implement any changes we suggest, serving as your cost reduction partner. Through our services, you’ll be able to save more money and overcome the rise in fuel costs.