Investigation of Methodologies Used by Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) Motor Carriers to Determine Fuel Surcharges

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit


Publication Date

Spring 2008


The objective of this study was to discover how less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers develop and utilize fuel surcharge policies to recover their fuel expenses. Thirty-nine top LTL carriers were contacted to explain their perspectives and methodologies with regard to fuel surcharge policies. Part-to-whole qualitative analysis was conducted to summarize responses from a standardized interview protocol. In addition, twenty-five published fuel surcharge policies were analyzed. Findings show that, while carriers were reluctant to discuss their fuel surcharge development, in practice there were two primary methodologies that left all carriers with very similar fuel surcharge policies.


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Journal of Transportation Management