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Tuesday, 31 May 2022 09:31

Diesel Skyrockets, Putting Pinch on Trucking Industry

Written by Elyse Kelly, The Center Square
Diesel Skyrockets, Putting Pinch on Trucking Industry wirestock

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Many diesel-dependent industries are feeling the pinch of skyrocketing prices---including the biggest, trucking.

Average national diesel prices per gallon rose for 15 consecutive days reaching $5.57 by AAA’s latest calculation---an all time high.

 

Matt Hart, executive director for the Illinois Trucking Association, said Illinois’ trucking industry is getting hit with a double whammy.

 

“Our two biggest costs in the trucking industry are labor and fuel, and we’ve certainly been battling increased costs in labor in 2021 and into 2022, but now we’re getting hit with our second biggest cost, which is fuel,” he told The Center Square.

 

The rise of diesel costs outpaced gasoline, shooting up 56% in 2022. The latest price per gallon is a record. A year ago it was $3.17.

 

Lower refining activity and higher demand domestically and abroad are part of the problem, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration. Reserves of distillates have hit a 17-year low.

 

Large carriers are better poised to deal with skyrocketing diesel prices through negotiating contracts and buying their own fuel, but smaller carriers are feeling the pressure, Hart said.

 

“It’s those smaller carriers who maybe don’t have a fuel surcharge or fuel surcharge is new to them or don’t have the capacity to hedge their own fuel, those are the guys that are feeling the biggest pinch right now,” he said.

 

There are few electric trucks available so the industry has to deal with it, Hart said.

 

“There is no alternative in the trucking industry,” he said. “When you buy an automobile, you can buy an electric car. There are no electric trucks out there to purchase---the very few that are...


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