Fuel Costs Affect Distributors' Expenses, 2014 Plans - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

Fuel Costs Affect Distributors’ Expenses, 2014 Plans

Fastenal and United Natural Foods are taking changing costs into account.

Drivers last year paid about $3.49 per gallon of gas, significantly lower than the $3.60 they paid in 2012, according to a new report from the American Automobile Association. Gas prices have edged down as refineries have upped their reliance on North American crude oil, a trend the AAA expects to continue in 2014.

Fuel prices had a positive impact of 8 basis points on United Natural Foods' operating expenses in the first quarter, according to CFO Mark Shamber. "Nationally, our diesel fuel cost in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 decreased by approximately 3.3 percent from the prior year's first quarter while the national average price decreased," he said.

Fastenal, which recorded a slight increase in per gallon fuel costs for its distribution, store delivery and other sales-centered vehicles during the third quarter, is hoping to realize greater fuel cost reductions in the future. CEO Will Oberton said during Fastenal's 2013 Annual Shareholder Meeting that the company is testing the use of natural gas-run tractors "to lower emissions, lower our cost and try a fuel that's actually plentiful here in the United States," he said. "The test is going well, (but it's) way too early to determine if we will have 20 of them next year or 200 of them. But over time, we believe it will be something that we'll be able to deploy within our fleet."

According to the AAA, gas prices should decrease slightly in 2014 and dramatic price spikes should be limited, as increased refinery capacity and domestic oil production "should provide a supply cushion."

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to mdm.com, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to MDM.com
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on mdm.com
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.