Record diesel prices put a pinch on Houston's trucking industry

High fuel prices are making more than your commute more expensive. 

The cost of transporting goods across the country is the highest it's ever been, and that added expense may soon be passed onto consumers. 

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From a busy Arkansas truck stop, Houston-area trucker Doug Greenwood says a big rig fill-up of diesel fuel is running about twice as much as before the pandemic. 

"Filling up is like $800, to a $1000," he says.

Nationally, diesel prices average $5.13 a gallon, according to the government. 

In Texas, it's a little lower, but out on the road where greenwood drives his own, personal rig, the expenses come out of his pocket and he literally hunts for pennies to save on fuel. On a recent trip, those pennies can make a significant difference. 

These days, businesses waiting for shipments typically pay a fuel surcharge of around an extra dollar a mile, and those costs will be passed on. 

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In a recent letter to the White House, the American Trucking Associations warn it's an unsustainable dilemma, saying, "Escalating fuel prices are driving up the transportation cost of all goods, adding yet another layer of inflationary pressure on every sector throughout the entire economy." 

Doug Greenwood says it's already happening, with 'some' fellow drivers deciding to put their rigs in park and walk away. 

"I got a friend of mine (who) had to hang it up after driving for 45-years," says Greenwood, "The cost of diesel, it's enormous." 

In its letter, the ATA says the trucking industry moves 73% percent of the nation’s freight, amounting to the 10 billion tons of goods annually. 

The organization urged the Biden administration to help expand domestic fuel production, to meet the immediate need, or risk having some of those goods and services grind to a halt.