Capacity is tight and we need your help!


Good service and adequate capacity is what you deserve. For the last year Dart has paid out more surcharge to our contractors than we have collected in fuel surcharge. Still, our contractors have not been made whole. There is a tremendous driver shortage. We do not see any end to this shortage. The average driver continues to move towards retirement age. Contractors will change industries if surcharges do not fairly reimburse them for their fuel costs.

We need your fuel surcharges to be no worse than 1 cent per mile increase for every 5 cents change in fuel cost.

For example one cent per mile fuel surcharge for every 6 cents increase in fuel cost is not adequate.

In the coming days we will be asking for your support if you have a surcharge that is worse than the 1 cent fuel surcharge for every 5 cents additional cost for fuel. This rate only keeps us whole and passes along the cost for fuel.

Some may be asking:

Why are you asking to be kept whole and expecting the shippers to take the hit? The simple answer is we have no choice. Fuel cost has always been a big part of our costs and subsequently were well managed before fuel costs spiked. The newest trucks now have better emissions but have worse miles per gallon.

The increased costs are far too great to be absorbed.

I thought trucks could return 6 miles per gallon or better so 1 cent per mile for every 6 cents in fuel price should be sufficient.

Factors that impact the surcharge include:

-Necessary out of route miles
-Normal deadhead
-Paid miles that are shorter than practical
-New trucks with less miles per gallon and higher maintenance -All of the above issues require 1 cent per mile for 5 cents change in fuel cost.

Most of you have made the commitment and have reflected this need in your fuel surcharge program. Thank you. We truly appreciate your support and foresight.

Others have tried to make up for inadequate surcharges by adding to the freight rates. This is not very practical, requiring a new negotiation every time fuel prices swing up or down. Fuel neutral rates are the most efficient for both the carrier and the shipper. A Fuel neutral contract is the best business practice.

In the coming days, if you have a surcharge that is worse than 1 cent per mile for a 5 cent change in fuel price, we will be asking for your help. This assistance will allow us to retain our loyal, experienced fleet of contractors and also continue to grow our contractor base. It will allow us to provide the service you deserve.

Our mutual goal is to protect capacity for you while delivering freight safely and on-time.

Thank you for your business and support in this time of volatile energy costs.