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Diesel fuel prices surge impacting supply chains

This price surge could end up pushing the cost of goods up even more.

SAN DIEGO — Diesel fuel prices have surged, with a spike of 22.6 cents nationally over the past week, now sitting at a record high of $5.52 a gallon, according to GasBuddy. 

But in California it’s a full dollar more at a whopping $6.51 a gallon, according to AAA.  

This price surge could end up pushing the cost of goods up even more. 

“It’s already affected the trucking industry,” said Bob van der Valk, a retired Chevron employee from San Diego. “They have a fuel surcharge on most of their deliveries and they’re collecting it because right now it’s supply, supply, supply,” 

One factor affecting diesel supply is the high demand for air travel right now as people are flying more. 

“Kerosene is a clean diesel and is what’s used in jet fuel,” said van der Valk. “It’s in high demand right now and it takes away from the regular diesel fuel production at the refineries,” 

With inflation at a 40-year high of 8.5%, this price hike for diesel could mean even higher prices for everything from groceries to lumber and other products. 

“86% of things that we eat, and wear come on a truck, so therefore you’re going to see an increase in that because it needs fuel to get there,” said Phillip Harris, training coordinator for United Truck Driving School in Mission Valley.

Harris has 18 years under his belt in the trucking industry and he says diesel hikes like these end up passed along to the consumer. 

“It is frustrating,” said Harris. “It’s going to go into the cost that I have to charge my customer and that’s not necessarily what I want to charge them, but I have to make a living and keep this truck on the road with the fuel, so it is hard for the owner/operator,” 

With our economy so dependent on transportation and supply chains, Phillip says record-breaking price increases like we’re seeing will likely have an impact on what we pay for everyday products. 

“The supply chain is what keeps our nation healthy and growing and once we start to get into that supply chain, it starts to affect a lot of things,” said Harris. “Everything we eat, wear, and drink comes on a truck.” 

WATCH RELATED: Gas prices and inflation | Consumers spending less, small businesses feeling the impact (March 2022)

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