U.S. oil boom driving a surge in trucking

 An increasing number of well is leading to more truckloads of oil products being transported. 
An increasing number of well is leading to more truckloads of oil products being transported. 

Record oil production is adding millions of miles for carriers hauling oil products

Have you ever heard anyone complain about low fuel prices? That rarely happens, of course, but low fuel prices do have an impact on transportation, trucking in particular. Lower diesel fuel prices drive down costs for carriers, and they often lead to an increase in economic activity.

But what really forces fuel prices down, and how does that actually help trucking? Low fuel prices are usually product of oil market supply and demand. Sometimes, political forces can play a role as well. Regardless, the result is a series of related events that affect transportation companies that work in the oil fields.

Generally, low prices occur during times of low demand or oversupply. In the most recent case, it is a supply push by U.S. companies that is helping drive down prices worldwide but is driving up transportation-related revenue.

The U.S. is now pumping more oil than ever before, according to Baker Hughes, which tracks oil rig count. According to the company, the U.S. now has 712 operating oil rigs. Each rig added can add thousands of truckloads of product to the industry. Even as OPEC nations curtail production to try and drive up prices, the U.S., thanks in large part to hydraulic fracking, continues to increase its production levels.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.