Everyone is aware that gas prices are at record highs. In some parts of the country, it might cost $100 to fill up your SUV with 18 gallons of petrol. But diesel fuel prices are also at record levels, and it's trending at about $1.00 more than gas. Instead of a $100 fill-up, how would you like to shell out $1,227.49 for a full tank?
That's the reality facing the trucking industry right now. The above image comes from an anonymous Motor1.com reader who, in one fuel stop, spent enough money to buy a fully functional (if not terrifically pretty) car in most places. The latest weekly data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows diesel fuel averaging $5.19 per gallon in the United States. Ironically, some quick number crunching shows that's exactly the price-per-gallon for this fuel stop.
However, our source also stated this 236-gallon stop would cover about 1,500 miles, which translates to three days of travel in his line of work. So the weekly fuel bill here isn't $1,227.49. It's actually double – a whopping $2,454.98, every six days. Head west and things are considerably more expensive, with the EIA reporting an average diesel fuel price of $5.87 for the US West Coast. California is the most expensive of all, with an average price of $6.29.
Record-high fuel prices mean higher transportation costs, and that generally leads to higher prices for goods and services. A report from The Washington Post offers several examples, including a trucking company based in New York paying $400,000 per month in diesel as it delivers freight and food to grocery stores. Businesses using gasoline-powered vehicles are also forced to raise prices, with The Washington Post highlighting mainstream services like lawn maintenance to specialty businesses like dog grooming. A busy Motor1.com staffer even pointed out a temporary fuel surcharge on today's lunch delivery.
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Will there be any relief in the near future? As of March 28, gas and diesel prices have somewhat stabilized after several weeks of steady increases. The EIA reports a weekly average gasoline price of $4.24, a slight drop from the week prior. However, diesel's $5.19 average is slightly up from the previous week. In the oil market, Brent crude is down nearly 7 percent at $112.50 a barrel, with WTI crude dropping almost 2 percent to close at $104.