Barack Obama REx Features

Photograph: ddp USA/REX

2) Barack Obama, president of the United States of America

Yes the president of the USA is of course the powerful man in the world, but why put him in the MT Power Players? Simply because Obama’s embracing of fracking for shale oil and gas has led to a glut of oil that has seen crude prices crash from $100 to $65 a barrel, bringing diesel fuel prices down below £1 a litre for the first time in four years according to MT’s latest cost tables.

Rising fuel prices – due to higher duty as well as rising oil prices – in 2013 were blamed for several failures of otherwise sound hauliers so falling prices have been a welcome relief for many. While savvy operators have fuel price escalator clauses in their contracts to pass price rises onto customers, rapidly rising costs wreak havoc with cash flow, as fuel has to be paid for within seven to 14 days while customers often take 30 or 60 days to pay their bills.

So a spin off of the US’s policy to break its energy dependence on the Middle East has benefited UK operators in 2014. Let’s just hope the Treasury doesn’t take this as an opportunity to restart its dreaded fuel duty escalator…





Over the next 20 days we will be counting down our Top 20. As ever, we’d welcome your feedback and input into the debate. Send us your thoughts on Twitter - @Motor_Transport - using the hashtag #MTPowerPlayers