Truck driver Robert Schaaf knew something was wrong when his company-provided fuel card stopped working earlier this year.
“The fuel card had been hit and miss for a couple of months,” Schaaf said. “I paid for fuel out of my own money then would be reimbursed by the owner.”
Schaaf’s reimbursement came later and later throughout the year until March, when he found out that the companies insurance had expired.
Schaaf figured the company was losing money so even though they still owed him thousands, Schaaf decided to cut his losses and quit.
“To make a long story short, he still owes me 8,000 bucks and I have been working in property management in Pensacola since then,” Schaaf said.
According to transportation analyst Jason Seidl, the uptick in fuel card delinquencies is a clear sign that more trucking company bankruptcies are still to come this year.
“The delinquency rate on fuel cards has gone up dramatically,” Seidl said. “That’s a precursor for more bankruptcies for smaller carriers.”
The fuel problem will continue to worsen as diesel prices are expected to surge following IMO 2020, a new set of environmental standards slated to have “large and disruptive effects” on the oil and gas industry.
Trucking companies, like the one for which Schaaf worked, will need to quickly increase their cash flow if they are to keep up with fuel costs and retain drivers.