Minnesota trucking industry is feeling the pinch at the pumps

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BROOKLYN CENTER — The president of the Minnesota Trucking Association said it dealt a double blow to its members who face driver shortages and record high diesel fuel prices.

John Hausladen says that with diesel prices averaging $5.00 a gallon, it’s costing drivers $1,000 to fill their rigs…

It’s incredibly high. This is a serious issue for trucking companies to manage, as fuel at these new prices has become our number one cost, surpassing labor costs. And, the challenge is that we can only recover part of it from our customers. We only recover about 60-70% of price increases through surcharges.

Hausladen doesn’t know how long many smaller carriers will be able to hold out if prices don’t start falling…

I’m afraid we’re losing some trucking companies. We have seen this in the past when prices go up. And, right now, with the shortage of capacity, the last thing we need is to lose trucking companies. So we need the federal government and we need the president to show some leadership to fix this problem. These prices were rising before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As for a break in federal and state gasoline taxes, Hausladen says that’s only a temporary fix. He says the trucking association has always supported funding for infrastructure maintenance and improvements, so a gas tax exemption could hurt those efforts. He says we need permanent reforms that benefit truckers.

Hausladen says truckers are resilient and will find a way to get the job done, but he says it will come at a cost.

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