The Best Way to Track & Predict Fuel Prices
Simply put, if you currently don’t track your fuel prices, you’re throwing money away.If you buy wholesale fuel, and you’re not tracking fuel prices, you’re buying blind.
That’s right. If you simply order fuel only when your tanks are thirsty, and pay the then-available price, it’s a good bet you’re missing a few fundamental fuel facts, already within your reach, that could influence both the timing of the orders and the price of the fuel you’re now pretty much ordering and paying for ‘in the dark.’ Simply put, if you currently don’t track fuel prices, you’re throwing money away.
These few fuel facts are not a luxury reserved for the special, but an essential, wisely utilized by the smart.
But believe it or not, a lot of people buy blind, believing it’s not really worth it to track prices because “you can’t predict the price of fuel!” Our hope is that this little blog about potentially big savings will set the record straight.
Scenario: Terminal outage somewhere in your region. Supply begins to show signs of tightening, and threatening to get a lot tighter throughout the day. And you, without so much as a clue about the surprise shortage just beginning to play out in your area, are feeling pretty good about where the price has been and will place your order when its convenient later in the day.
Meanwhile, the reality of less fuel starts to give way to fear, and both begin to travel through the pipeline, slowly but surely picking up speed on a course that will eventually and unexpectedly (to most) spike gas and diesel prices by 8 cents a gallon before the fuel market day is done.
Buying Blind (Not Tracking Fuel Prices):
You are oblivious to the downed terminal and still trust the headline news that the price of crude continues to go down. Your to-do list finally gives you a break to order 4,000 gallons of gas and 4,000 gallons of diesel for delivery tomorrow. Life is good. Tomorrow arrives and so does your fuel, but at 8 cents per gallon higher!-–a cost of $640 more–than you expected.
Life was good.
Buying Smart (Tracking Fuel Prices):
You plan on buying fuel for tomorrow and will order a load later today when things settle down a bit. Suddenly, relying on an amazing, quick and easy tool (you’ll learn more about below), you receive an automatic alert on your phone that gas and diesel prices are spiking. Moving quickly, you place your order for today instead of tomorrow. In fact, because such a big price swing is heading your way, and since you have the room in your tanks, you bite the bullet and order two loads instead of one. You’re getting the picture: That’s an additional $1,280 in your pocket, thank you very much!
Case Closed. Knowledge is indeed power. And profit too. Easy tracking of price movement helps you anticipate price changes before they hit you, enabling you to save potentially boat-loads of money, because the scenario depicted above happens, in one form or another, more than you might think.
Methods & Tools to Track & Predict Fuel Prices
Track Crude Oil Prices: Tracking Crude Oil prices is not a good indicator of refined fuel prices. Following Crude to predict gas is like testing the wind speed by throwing a tuft of grass in the air: It may or may not point you in the right direction.
Watch Daily Fuel Prices: You might think receiving daily prices from your supplier—including us—keeps you ahead of the pricing race. But without the benefit of quick and easy tools that alert you to near-realtime price movement, what was realtime news earlier in the day is old news by the time it reaches you in the form of spiked prices that seem to have come out of nowhere. And even if your supplier is amazing, faithfully sending you pricing at 6pm everyday, and the price is favorable, it’s still too little too late to benefit you that day, after the delivery window has closed.
So, whether prices are going up or coming down, price-tracking will automatically get you the news you need while it’s still new enough to inform what and when you order next, saving you money one way or another virtually everytime.
Monitor Spot Market Prices: Though Spot Market prices are the weather vane for fuel price movement, tracking them is generally easier said than done and difficult to understand and interpret accurately. Spot pricing is also not intended to be the source of tomorrow’s prices today, but a kind of ‘windsock,’ no less subject to the familiar volatility of fuel prices. Continuing the meteorological metaphor, Spot prices are a forecast, of sorts, indicating potential highs and lows for today and tomorrow, but like autumn in New Mexico, don’t expect it to remain the same, patiently waiting for the moment you want to buy. Spot markets are, however, the best insight into regional fuel prices.
Tools: Scoring Them on Cost, Methodology, and Accuracy
Score: 1-10, the higher the better.
OPIS Spot Ticker
Score: 7 out of 10
- Very expensive; a couple hundred dollars per month.
- The spot ticker is tops for spot market monitoring, providing all the tracking information you need. It’s also a bit complex, requiring experience in use of the ticker. Still, it’s great at what it does.
- The spot ticker is the most up-to-date source. If even minutes will make a difference, the spot ticker is for you.
Bloomberg Energy Watch
Score: 5 out of 10
- At ‘free of charge,’ you can’t beat the price.
- Frankly, it’s a horrible method to track fuel prices. There is one thing you can count on: You will lose money relying on the Bloomberg Crude Oil Watch.
- With about a 15-minute delay, pricing isn’t real-time, but price accuracy is very good.
Score: 9 out of 10
- PowerFuel is free to Desert Fuels’ customers and only $10 a month for everyone else. It is by far the least expensive of all the pricing tools by more than 10-fold! A 30-day free trial provides more than enough time to get the touch and feel of this first-of-its-kind Smart App that’s revolutionizing the way bulk fuel is purchased.
- Reporting prices directly from the Spot Markets makes PowerFuel among the most accurate tools available, and its intuitive, human friendly interface is very easy to understand.
- PowerFuel’s pricing follows the market’s report by about 30 minutes, and is an ingenious, new iPhone/iPad App for serious bulk fuel buyers. It tracks fuel price movement and provides simple, market-based suggestions to “Order fuel for Today,“ “Order fuel for Tomorrow,” or “Wait to order fuel.” Plus, Desert Fuels’ customers are able to place and track their fuel orders at the touch of a finger, all from the palm of their hand.
And The Winner is…
PowerFuel is the Best Way to Monitor, Track, and Predict Fuel Prices. Hands-down.
Desert Fuels invented this first-of-its-kind iPhone/iPad Smart App to fill a huge need for instant, accurate, and actionable market intelligence to conveniently serve the people and businesses that keep the fuel industry in business. And knowing that industry all too well, we also knew if we didn’t get on it, the need would remain unmet.
PowerFuel is the easiest, fastest, and most economical tool available to predict fuel price movement by region. Amazing.