The price of gas is slowly coming down after price hikes sparked by last month’s hurricanes, but diesel prices remain stubbornly over 3-dollars a gallon in Iowa. Scott Weiser is president of the Iowa Motor Truck Association.
Weiser says along with other fuels, diesel has skyrocketed in price this year — and hasn’t fallen as fast as others. The supply and price of diesel fuel are a problem for the motor-carrier industry but more specifically for their clients — the shippers.
He says drivers of semi trucks have been talking with the customers who use them to transport goods about adding the cost of fuel to the cost of doing business. They’ll never get back all the price increase, but most drivers or the companies they work for are negotiating with their clients to pass on some of the increased fuel cost. Motor carriers are hesitant about embracing new technology like bio-diesel and other alternative fuels, and Weiser says they see the pros and cons.
Many states want to add alcohol or vegetable oil to diesel, but he says the drivers are concerned about the effect on their mileage and performance, and a lack of standards in the market so far. That’s why he says they’re sticking with a “go-slow approach” right now. With the number of goods that are transported from field to market, manufacturer to retail stores and across the country, Weiser says the cost of diesel is everyone’s cost. The truckers believe freight shipping will remain strong, but diesel prices aren’t coming down and it’s a problem for everybody in his business.