The fee was bugged. It was possible to avoid the 7.4% fee by taking out 10 small hedges. Now you can't.
But to say there's now no reason to hedge is silly. It's not about whether you might end up paying significantly over the actual price. It's about getting security. Fuel price is $500, and I'm very comfortable paying $550 and still making money? Excellent, full 12 month hedge, and I pay $537, guaranteed. If fuel jumps to 600+, it doesn't hit me. If fuel drops to $400, others get a benefit, but I'm still paying a reasonable price.
Alternatively, take out a 10% hedge once every 5 weeks. Now your fuel bill will change with the market, but you'll get 12 months advance notice. Fuel jumps from $500 to $700 overnight, some people will se a 40% jump in their fuel bill. But you'll see a 3% jump in yours. And know you've got another 3% jump in 1 month, and another 3% jump in one month after that. Much easier to plan for, much more time to change things if a $700 fuel price could cripple you.
Over the course of a game, fuel WILL trend upwards. If it's a linear, 7.4% per year for 20 years, it'll end up a little over 4 times the original cost. I think MT started at under $250, I could be wrong. It's now over $1000. So on average, it's increased more than 7.4% each year. So if you hedged 100%, every 12 months, you may well have come out ahead. Might be behind, might be a long way ahead/behind. Depends on timing of hedges, and timing and size of spikes. If you took out staggered, 10% hedges, then you almost certainly came out ahead.
Hedging isn't purely about a gamble on what prices will do. As a pure gamble, it's now much fairer, it's no longer a 50/50 bet about whether prices rise or fall. As a pure gamble, there's now actually a risk you lose. But still a good chance you win. Would need a very detailed map of fuel prices to work it out, but I suspect your expected value on the return for your gamble would be somewhere around break even, might be slightly ahead if price increase was close to linear, might be slightly behind if prices stayed mostly level, apart from a couple of big spikes. EV of break even is a better gamble than you'll find in any casino.
Add in the utility of hedging, and there are still very good reasons to use it.