5-23-08 by dugan
There’s no one harder hit by fuel prices than the nation’s truckers, and they’re going bankrupt at near record rates. The price of diesel jumped a nickel a gallon nationwide today, to $4.649, which is $1.72 a gallon above the price a year ago. In California, diesel is on average just three cents a gallon shy of $5.00, up $1.82 over the year, according to AAA. (the data changes daily) Who’s going to transport Americans’ stuff?
The trade publication Oil Express (subscription only) today said that "the first quarter of 2008 brought the highest rate of trucking industry bankruptcy filings in seven years, and the second quarter is shaping up to be even worse."
Too bad they can’t all go to Mexico for fillups. News reports put the price of Mexican diesel, as of May 13, at $2.10 a gallon, in part because of national subsidies. Some who’ve tried to do this, though, have run into trouble with U.S. Customs. Is our government, which has only come awake to the fuel-price damage in the last few weeks, in the business of protecting U.S. refiners’ market share?