Skyrocketing diesel prices straining trucking industry

Sticker shock at the pumps isn't just over the price of gasoline. The cost of diesel is roughly 70% higher than it was this time last year, according to data collected by The Associated Press.

The national average price of diesel is now $5.65 per gallon, AAA reports.

"If it keeps going the way it's going, I'm going to find myself in an early grave," Gavin Miller, a truck driver for TFSL Trucking, said.

As with rising gas prices, market research analysts attribute most of the skyrocketing diesel costs to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

"Before the Russian invasion, the oil market was tight, inventories were low, demand was rising, there's a little spare capacity," S&P Oil Market Research's Jim Burkhard said. "And then the Russian invasion has removed some supply from the U.S. and Europe."

But many trucking companies say they just can't keep absorbing the costs.

"That will ultimately be reflected in the prices that the consumer pays," Roadstar Trucking President Bob Ramorino said. "And that's part of the increase in the cost of food."

And the situation may only get worse. Many truckers are reporting that their job wages simply aren't rising at the same rate as diesel prices. 

"Going from Clackamas, Oregon, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida — it was only paying $2,500 to the driver," TFSL's Miller said. 

Trucks deliver about 70% of all goods transported across the country. Supply chain issues could result if more drivers refuse jobs because of surging diesel prices.