Daily Express, Carlisle, Pa., has added an Empty Mile Fuel Surcharge Assistance program for its owner-operators.

Based on the type of trailer being used, Daily Express' Empty Mile Fuel Surcharge Assistance program will pay owner-operators a variable rate from 8 to 49 cents per mile for empty miles with few exceptions (assuming fuel at $4.65/gallon). Daily Express will pay 100 percent of the empty mile fuel surcharge to the owner-operator.

"We recognize the financial impact of empty miles on our owner-operator fleet," said Daily Express CEO Todd Long, "and we are taking the necessary measures to protect these drivers during these challenging economic times. Keeping our owner-operator fleet profitable is essential to the service we provide to our customers all over the country."

Daily Express' Premium Loaded Mile Surcharge is currently based on the assumption that diesel fuel should cost no more than $1.10/gallon, with 1 cent per loaded mile paid to the owner-operator for every 5 cents fuel costs above that limit. With the national average of diesel at $4.65, the company pays a surcharge of 71 cents per mile. For a tractor getting 5.5 mpg, the surcharge essentially reduces the loaded cost per mile to about 21 cents. However, Daily Express will pay one and a half to three times above the regular surcharge for extreme overweight loads that require additional fuel consumption, which the company is known for hauling.