Diesel fuel prices will reach record highs in 2008, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The group says the trucking industry will spend $135 billion on diesel this year, a $22 billion increase over what the trucking industry spent on diesel in 2007.
"The trucking industry is making great strides in its efforts to reduce overall fuel consumption," says ATA CEO and President Bill Graves, "but an affordable supply of diesel fuel is imperative to keep our trucks moving.
"There is little to suggest that fuel prices will decline any time soon. Yet every day, ATA hears new stories from its members about how escalating fuel prices are hurting their businesses and affecting their livelihood."
The cost to fill the fuel tanks on a typical tractor trailer has increased 116% (or $615) in just five years, say ATA officials.
"Because trucks haul 70% of all freight tonnage, rising fuel costs have the potential to increase the cost of everything transported by truck, including food, retail and manufactured goods."
To alleviate future significant fuel price fluctuations, the ATA is calling upon Congress and the White House "to address this crisis situation and move immediately to take steps to increase diesel fuel supply," including boosting refinery capacities "and the environmentally sound exploration of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Outer Continental Shelf."