How Fuel Cards and Fuel Prices Work
by TCS Fuel | February 19, 2021
Do you want to save money on fuel?
I have great news for you because that’s exactly what we help with at TCS Fuel.
We’re dedicated to helping you save money on fuel, but just how much money can be saved using a fuel card? Let me explain how diesel fuel prices are determined, why the price of fuel changes, and best of all – how to easily find the best fuel discount in your area!
There are a lot of fuel card companies out there, but they all going to offering something a little different. Especially different fuel discount prices. At TCS Fuel, we have a cost-plus program.
We get a lot of questions about fuel prices, like “why do fuel prices change so often?” and “why is the discount price always different?”, I’m going to answer both! But first, let’s take a look at how diesel fuel makes its way to your fuel pump.
How Diesel Fuel Gets to the Pump
Fuel starts out as crude oil, where it’s pumped from the ground and taken to a refinery to be processed into different types of fuel like diesel, gasoline, premium gasoline, and jet fuel. Then, your diesel fuel is taken from the refinery and transported to racks. There are over 400 Oil Production Information Service (OPIS) racks in the United States. Truckstop companies purchase fuel at their regional rack and then distribute it to their truck stop locations.
Cost-Plus Fuel Prices
To easily explain how the cost-plus price of fuel is determined, our friends and partners at Road Ranger shared their cost-plus calculation with us:
First, you take the Rack Average Price, add the truck stop cost plus markup, which is also called a pumping fee. Then, add the freight – that’s the cost of transporting the fuel to their various locations, and lastly, add in taxes. Total all those numbers together and that’s the price you’re paying for your diesel fuel.
A Thank You to Truckers From Chris Courts
Hey everyone, I am Chris Courts, President and Managing Director of TCS. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all truckers, trucking companies, and owner operators for the hard work that you do to keep our country moving forward.
All of us at TCS know that you need fuel to haul those loads and we know that fuel prices are constantly fluctuating – sometimes they are higher and sometimes they are lower. We have already saved TCS clients millions of dollars in fuel discounts, but our goal is to save them even more. But as you know when fuel prices change discounts change, too.
Which is why we’ve enlisted some help from Lloyd Sanford, the Senior Vice President of Sales for TA and Petro, to help explain how fuel pricing works.
Why do Fuel Prices Change So Often?
Hello everyone, my name is Lloyd Sanford – Senior Vice President of Sales here with TA and Petro. There are many different factors that impact the OPIS Rack Price for fuel, but these are the most common ones. But before I get into that, I just want to take a second just to explain the different pieces that go into the cost of fuel.
In a gallon of fuel, 40% of the cost comes from crude, 25% from distribution and marketing, taxes make up another 23%, and 12% percent from refining.
- There are regional market differences throughout the country and specifically at the 400+ different racks.
- International events such as oil production shortages, natural disasters, terrorism threats, and demand shifts can also cause prices to change.
- In the US, Regional events such as natural disasters, demand shifts, refinery problems, pipeline leaks, and shutdowns also can impact the price too.
- Then you have freight issues, like longer routes for pick-up and delivery that may cause increases to the overall cost.
- Lastly, changes in federal, state, local, and environmental taxes will also impact the price.
Thank you drivers for everything that you do.
Fuel Discounts with the TCS Fuel Card
We work hard at TCS Fuel to give our clients the best fuel discounts and 24/7 customer service support. We can’t control the fuel prices any more than we can control tornados or floods. What we can do is help you find the best discount on fuel when you need it. It’s with the TCS Fuel Finder. The TCS Fuel Finder is an interactive map showing you the fuel discounts in your area or along a route! This free tool is available on our mobile app and our online portal giving you the fuel savings information you need – right in the palm of your hand.