Expecting the unexpected might seem like the norm in business these days, and that unpredictable nature goes double for oil prices. While this can mean a headache at the pump for most, it can mean shifting business plans and lost profits for your company. So how can you deal with tides of change? According to Rachel Rutkoski, the first step is keeping an even keel: The first step in positioning your company to remain steady in the face of highly erratic fuel costs, involves gaining a thorough understanding of transportation cost structures like the mix of labor, equipment or accessorial and fuel costs that your shippers incur. Do you know what percentage fuel contributes to your freight costs? That knowledge is important if you're trying to push back on any 'fuel surcharges' your shippers are trying to levy. Or, take a look at last years' emissions rules for trucks. How hard was your carrier's fleet hit? They may be using emissions as an excuse to squeeze you for a few more bucks. Regardless, it pays to keep up with macro trend and understand how they directly impact your carriers. Rutkoski goes on to explain some fees you might be experiencing that deserve a second look, but also explains there may be other cost savings. By streamlining your IT, business, and legal expense, you can offset the increase in transport costs and still maintain a healthy bottom line.