MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Truck drivers are feeling the pain at the pump and consumers are paying for it, but the impacts of these gas prices are hitting small trucking companies hard.
“It hurts a lot,” truck driver Diego Loiza said.
Loiza has been in the trucking industry for the past 6 years and is the owner of a small trucking business based in Arkansa. He says that he pays between $300 to $600 every time he stops to fill up his truck, and it’s a price that he is still shocked to see.
“You used to be able to fuel for $3.25 or $3.00 per gallon,” Loiza said. “Now it’s $4.45 at Pilot.”
According to Alabama AAA, the average state diesel price is $4.09 per gallon which is a 45-cent increase over the past month. This time last year, this price was $4.72 per gallon.
But according to Clay Ingram with Alabama AAA, these high diesel prices are creating a ripple effect in the economy.
“The end result is that we end up paying more for everything, whether its groceries, or clothing, or construction materials, anything and everything across the board when those shipping costs go up,” Ingram said.
According to Loiza, these price hikes in shipping have made small trucking businesses see less of a demand for deliveries, which hurts the trucking industry.
“This is my whole livelihood,” Loiza said. “I have a lot of money invested in my truck and trailer, so it’s hard.”
For Loiza, these impacts are not as threatening since his truck is a freezer truck, and he knows there will always be a demand for food. But for others, they are either being forced out of business or barely getting by.
“I am scared and worried,” Loiza said. “One thing I know is when things get tough you just have to work harder.”