Data collected by the Associated Press shows that diesel prices have increased by approximately 70 percent since last year. This has severely impacted the ability of many truck companies to do their work, with many saying they are no longer able to keep absorbing the costs. (Related: Price of gas has more than doubled since Biden’s first day in office.)
Trucks deliver about 70 percent of all goods transported across the country. If more trucking companies are no longer able to profitably do business and transport essential goods, including food, consumers will likely have to pay more for their meals.
Many analysts are already concerned that more truckers will refuse to take delivery jobs because they can’t afford the diesel required to do the job, causing more supply chain issues in a country with already vulnerable supply chains.
Officials say the situation might get worse because many drivers are reporting that their wages are not rising in tandem with other prices, especially that of diesel, leading to more truckers retiring or switching careers.
Truckers making a lot less due to diesel prices
AAA reported on Thursday, June 9, that the national average price of a gallon of diesel hit a record high of $5.74.
Raymond Mayberry, a trucker from Houston who has been working as an independent trucker since 2003, said that even with the help of fuel-saving and rewards programs, he is still being forced to count “every penny” because the almost-daily rise in diesel prices is shrinking his bottom line.
“It comes out of our profit. If you make $3,000, you’ve got to know $700 of that is coming out of your profit,” he said. When he first started trucking, Mayberry noted that the price of diesel was 99 cents per gallon.
The owners of Brays Trucking in Arkansas, which has an average statewide diesel price of $5.29 per gallon, said they are currently not worried but their concerns are growing.
“We are feeling a real pinch right now,” said co-owner Doug Bray, who opened the company back in 2013.
Just six months ago, Bray said filling up one of their trailers that is a little below half full costs around $200 to $300. Now, the price has more than doubled. Filling up the tank from empty will now cost them around $1,200.
“I’m spending $200 just on fuel for my refrigerator trailer alone, plus then you add another $800 to fill up the truck,” said Bray.
He added that he feels lucky because in some states the price of diesel has breached the $6 per gallon mark. “Somebody asked me ‘Are you worried?’ I said, ‘No, I am not worried yet.’ I don’t have the answers I want,” he said.
But Bray did admit that his company’s profits are shrinking – and rapidly. “There is a load here in Jonesboro that I can pick up. I used to get $4,000 [in profit] on that load,” he said. “The same load I looked at today was $1,000 cheaper.”
Bray Trucking has a refrigerator trailer that can hold cheeses, milk and meats – products that are in very high demand. If the company keeps making less per delivery, it will be significantly more difficult to keep trucks on the road to deliver these essential goods.
Mayberry has also noticed that the price of diesel is affecting the price of other goods. “These customers,” said Mayberry of the people who hire him to haul goods like food across the country. “They want to pay you the same amount they paid you six, seven months ago. They can’t do it. And me, I’ll let my truck sit.”
It now takes Mayberry $700 worth of diesel to bring goods from Houston to Atlanta, Georgia. But with prices at the pump rising daily, he does not know how much it will cost for him to drive his truck back home.
Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have breached the $6 mark for diesel prices, with California’s statewide average – $6.95 – a few days away from breaching the $7 mark.
Other states with diesel prices at $6 per gallon or more include New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maine, Washington, Vermont, New Jersey, Oregon and Hawaii.
Learn more about fuel supply and prices at FuelSupply.news.
Watch this episode of the “Health Ranger Report” as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, lays down the timeline for the coming food and diesel shortages in America.
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