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The Cost of Trucking

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

July 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Take a look around you.  Your clothes, food, even the TV you watch were all shipped by truck. But it's getting harder for companies to get those products to you. Diesel is nearing five dollars a gallon, and truck drivers and companies simply can't afford to ship your goods unless the price is right.

Maybe you've noticed if and when you travel, there are fewer cars on the road, and also, fewer big trucks. "Everyday they've got to keep their truck loaded, they've got to stay on the road and when you don't have money for fuel, you can't do that," said Dewey Johnson who works for Rich-Way Transportation, a freight broker.

Johnson said, "Everyone needs transportation and we offer a service to help shippers get a load from point A to point B."

Unfortunately, business has been cut in half due to high fuel prices, and getting trucking companies to "point B" is more difficult by the day. "When we pay more for fuel," Johnson said, "it's harder to get someone to transport the goods and when they do, they're going to charge a premium price for it."

"Terrible, Terrible. It just seems to be getting worse. I don't see no end in sight," said Robert Boatright who has been driving trucks for 35 years. He says his company has had to turn down business, because the payment for a shipment wouldn't cover fuel costs.

He said, "Whatever affects the companies affects the drivers as far as bonuses or buying new equipment or any such thing as that. It's all related to the cost of trucking. The price of fuel goes up, the price of trucking goes up." And as the price of trucking goes up, you can bet the price of everything you own, from clothing, to food, to the chair you're sitting in will as well.

Some trucking companies are now governing the speed their drivers can travel, capping out at 65 miles per hour. It improves fuel efficiency, but keeps drivers on the road more hours for the same job.

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