Gas prices affect local businesses - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gas prices affect local businesses

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB)- Prices at the pump these days are 40 cents higher than a year ago. The last time gas this high was back in October of 2008.

How does that affect shipping and carpet stores? Shipping companies have to charge extra for fuel because of high prices.

And petroleum is used to make everything in a carpet store. So gas is affecting shipping, manufacturing, and production.

"We can't do business the same as when gas was cheaper," said Southern AG Carriers Director of Operations Todd Griffin.

And businesses like Carpet World depend on tractor trailer rigs to deliver their product. "We try to market smarter and that's helped. We also try and do volume. The more volume we can sell means, we'll be able to cover those imperfections," said Owner of Carpet World Billy Lillis. 

Those little imperfections are called fuel surcharges. So as gas prices rise, so does the price to ship. "These engines they burn a lot of it. It's a big expense for us. But we're able to pass a portion of it to our customer base," said Griffin. 

"The shipping industry has added a fuel surcharge. So we're paying more on all sides," said Lillis. 

Not only are they having higher cost in shipping, but petroleum is used to make just about everything they sell. "People don't realize just how petroleum affects a business like a carpet or flooring store," said Lillis.

Although these companies are different, they've both had to adapt because of gas. " It causes us to manage our trucks a lot closer. And it causes us to be more proactive," said Griffin. 

"At this point, we've done the best at making what we have work for us right now," said Lillis. So $3 dollars a gallon is just going to have to work.

The average price for gas in Georgia  in $2.95 a gallon. According to triple A, keeping your personal vehicle up to date with scheduled maintenance will help with your gas mileage.

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