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Get a Fuel Surcharge for Your Driver
With fuel prices mushrooming, you, as a freight broker, will always ask the shipper if they are paying a fuel surcharge on each load.
Many motor carriers will ask for, or sometimes require, a fuel surcharge above the base rate. Some shippers will not pay a specific fuel surcharge but will tell you that the gross rate covers everything. Or they may just say they do not pay a fuel surcharge.
However, if most of your motor carriers call-in and are requiring or asking for a fuel surcharge, make your shipper aware of this. (Often times, the shipper will be curious to know if you are getting calls and what the objections are that keep the carrier from taking the load).
Once you get a surcharge, pass it on to the truck. In the long run, you’ll be doing yourself a favor if you make a little extra effort to get this surcharge.
Some shippers may:
(1) Pay an additional $.25 to $.75 or so per mile, for example, to cover the high diesel fuel prices, or
(2) They may pay a flat amount, or
(3) A percentage of the gross amount.
If the shipper does not allow for a fuel surcharge, it may be difficult for a freight broker to pay a surcharge to the truck. You can’t have it coming out of your profit. (But there are exceptions to this which are dealt with in our training).
As a freight broker, you do not have to calculate these surcharges yourself. The motor carrier will do this as a rule – some know how and some don’t.
The government does NOT calculate fuel surcharges. They report weekly, average diesel fuel prices around the country. Usually motor carriers and trucking associations will make their own fuel surcharge calculation.
Lastly, be sure to go to bat for your driver. Get a fuel surcharge and give the carrier the best competitive rate you can.