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With the price of diesel fuel spiraling upward to a record high, if you have not incorporated a fuel surcharge into your operation, you must do it now. Small business owner-operators and motor carriers do not need to get government approval or file an application with DOT to implement a fuel surcharge. Here’s how to do it.

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1. Notify your customers with a faxed memo. You can use this one for a guideline.

Dear xxxx,

As you are no doubt aware, fuel prices have spiraled upward over the past several months to their highest level in history. John Q. Trucking Company has acted in good faith to resist seeking price relief as long as we possibly could. Due to the critical nature of the current situation, we can no longer continue to absorb the increased cost.

Therefore, effective (insert date here), we must implement a temporary fuel surcharge on all shipments. The fuel surcharge will remain independent from our base rates and will be shown as a separate entry on our freight bill. The fuel surcharge amount will be charged on a mileage basis, reflecting the extra cost of the fuel used in the specific trip.

Our pricing is based on the U.S. National Average Diesel Fuel Index. We will review this data and our actual costs on a weekly basis. The figure used for cost per gallon is also region specific, established by the average cost of the fuel per gallon, the date and the load’s origination point.

We deeply appreciate your understanding and partnership with us in helping to share the dilemma of these fuel cost increases. It’s working together that will keep our nation strong during this time of crisis. We hope that by sharing this burden together, we can keep the goods and services that power the American economy moving.

Respectfully,

Bill C. Booker
Booker C Trucking Company