As gas prices continue to hike up, you may be feeling some pain at the pump. But those increases impact a lot more than just how much it costs to drive your automobile.
The numbers seem to just keep going up. According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of regular gas is now $4.01, up from $3.48 just a week ago; the highest prices AAA has on record.
But if you’re driving something as big as Darrell Pendergraph’s truck, the gas hikes are even more noticeable.
“Say three months ago, we could fill this truck up for right at $320. Yesterday, it cost 800 and something dollars to fill this truck,” he told us Wednesday. “It’s unbelievable. I have drove a truck since 1982. I’ve never seen anything like it.
As a truck driver from the Chattanooga region, Pendergraph logs over 3,000 miles a week transporting food items to regional grocery stores. With transportation costs up, he says stores will be following suit.
“The transportation industry is not gonna absorb that fuel cost, so they’re gonna have to pass that on to the consumer at the grocery stores,” he said. “When [consumers] come in to buy the groceries, they’re gonna be paying a whole lot more.”
Paul Del Carmen, who owns Chattanooga’s Asian Food & Gift Store, says he’s already been feeling the price pressure.
“Our supplier have sent us notice and given us a heads up about April, all products will be increased in price,” he told us.
In his 42 years of running the store, Del Carmen says this is the hardest one for controlling the price of goods.
“We just have no more room to absorb that. So we have to pass it on to the consumer. I believe that is the same for every business owner out there,” he said.
Zach Strickland is a supply chain expert with the logistics company, FreightWaves. He says rising transportation costs can impact more than most consumers realize.
“Everything that moves on a truck, from food, to furniture, and any durable good, is now going to have an added piece of pressure on it, that’s going to compound the inflationary pressure that was already there,” he said, noting that these increases might not be felt right away.
Plus, he says, production disruptions resulting from the Ukraine conflict can impact the price of commodities like grain locally. He says the U.S. doesn’t necessarily consume a lot of Ukrainian grain products, but many countries in that part of the world do. With Ukrainian supply down, U.S. products are likely to feel an impact.
“The demand for our grain is going to increase, which is going to put upward pressure on the prices of the grains that we produce,” Strickland said.
“Myself as a business owner, when I go outside to shop or purchase something, I’m also the consumer, and I can feel the pressure also that everything out there has been going up so high, and it’s really hard for middle income families,” explained Del Carmen.