Many Americans are penny-pinching as the cost of food – and just about everything else – has gone up.
As of Tuesday morning, the average price truck drivers were paying at the pump for diesel was $4.77, according to SONAR, a fuel tracking company.
That’s the highest price for diesel since 2008, and it’s not far off from reaching an all-time record high.
Industry experts say it will only get worse before it gets better.
“Anything that goes on a truck from shipping and logistics is going to see the pain,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.
Seventy-two percent of goods in the US are shipped by truck.
That includes the food we get from grocery stores, the heating oil we get to heat our homes, and everything in between.
“The cost of anything shipped is going to go up dramatically. This cost is certainly going to get passed along to grocery stores, hardware stores, everyone,” DeHaan said.
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The cost has already been passed along to Robert Hall.
He co-owns Great American Pizza and Subs in Golden Valley, Arizona.
His pizza shop is popular among locals and truck drivers passing through.
“We love our truckers because they bring us goodies. Without truckers bringing everything around the country, you’re going to be missing out on a lot of stuff,” Hall said. “If you’re wearing it, eating it, you’re looking at it, a truck brought it to you.”
Now, Hall is paying more to get his food delivered and may have to raise the price for customers.
“By the truckers’ (diesel) going up and the gas going up, people are going to feel the crunch. If they don’t feel it right now, it’s coming,” Hall said.
It comes down to supply and demand.
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The less supply of diesel paired with higher demand means higher prices.
At the beginning of the year, truck drivers were paying on average $3.60 a gallon for diesel.
Now, that’s up to $4.77.
“When you see fuel prices go up, our folks either increase their rates, increase their fuel overload, which that charge is passed directly onto that customer,” said Paul Enos, Nevada Trucking Association CEO.
Enos says the smaller, independent drivers who pay for their own diesel are really feeling the impact.
In Las Vegas, they’re paying on average $4.81 a gallon for diesel.
In San Francisco the average is $5.88, in New York City $5.07 and in Atlanta $4.72.
“Keep in mind diesel is the fuel of the US economy, the fuel of commerce,” DeHaan said. “There’s no way I see diesel demand slowing down given the economic growth that will likely continue.”
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Diesel demand is already higher in the winter.
Tuesday, the US announced legislation to ban the import of Russian oil and energy products following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
All of this is pushing prices up.
The Nevada Trucking Association says the solution is to produce more energy domestically.