Diesel prices hit record highs, adding to trucking industry troublesmelscavellistafford
This story comes from The National Desk and was written by JILLIAN SMITH | The National Desk on Monday, May 2, 2022
WASHINGTON (TND) — While drivers are gasping at gas prices creeping up once again, diesel has hit an all-time high at an average of $5.32 per gallon.
It’s yet another hurdle for an industry still trying to drive itself out of a crippling labor shortage.
“It really hits across our whole industry and across the whole supply chain because obviously, that cost has to be recouped,” said John Elliott, chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association.
A third-generation transportation owner, Elliott’s Michigan-based company, Load One, operates a fleet of about 500 diesel-consuming trucks.
“Well we bill the customer, we might not get paid for 30, 60, 90 days. So we’re carrying an extremely large amount of money on our books, and you know, interest costs, interest rates are going up, so that’s only going to continue to impact the trucking industry as a whole,” Elliott said.
The price of a gallon of diesel is up 4.3% from last week and nearly twice as much when compared to one year ago.
“We even transport gasoline in this country in big tanker trucks, which drive on diesel, so everything in this country kind of relies on diesel to move around,” said Andrew Gross with AAA.
And those steep prices trickle down through the economy.
The American Trucking Associations reports that more than 70% of freight is transported via trucks. Now, fuel surcharges are affecting the cost of everything from groceries to construction supplies.
“Fuel is a critical resource. We should have control of it. We should have a steady supply for our industry and for our country,” Elliott said.
When it comes to unleaded gasoline, analysts predict average prices will remain above $4 per gallon through the busy summer travel season.