Fuel Figuring

The Defense Logistics Agency is studying the commercial practices of the airlines and trucking industry to see if it could use some of their methods to get fuel costs down, said Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, DLA director, on June 27. He told reporters in Washington, D.C., that commercial users of fuel track prices down to fractions of a cent, since those price fluctuations can “really add up” when used by a large fleet. The Pentagon’s Fiscal 2012 budget, for example, forecast a price of $115 a barrel for fuel, he said. DLA actually has spent $152 a barrel this year, he said. While the airlines buy fuel “and use it,” right away, DLA buys fuel to use and to store, and there may be significant savings from finding the right times to buy and hold fuel, said Harnitchek. However, DLA will not be buying “fuel futures,” he said.