Wichita trucking company among businesses challenged by surge in diesel fuel costs
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Overnight in Wichita, unleaded gas prices jumped 30 cents to $3.99. The price of diesel fuel is higher, surpassing the $5-per-gallon mark.
It’s an issue challenging companies that rely on diesel fuel. Andrew Faber, operations vice president for James Mason Enterprises dispatches drivers all over the country. In the last year, he’s seen fuel prices double.
“In the last month, saw it relax just a little bit. Then, for whatever reason, in the last two days, it shot up again,” Mason said. “That was a little unexpected because it had been on the decline.”
. On Feb. 24, the average price for unleaded gas in Wichita was $3.49 and the price of diesel was $3.69. The price of diesel fuel in Wichita is up to $5.29. Nationally, the average price for diesel fuel is $5.47, up from $3.09 a year ago.
A typical trip from Wichita to Seattle uses about 300 gallons of diesel. Last year, that would have cost about $900.
“We went from $900 to get up there to almost $1,600 just in the last year alone,” Mason said. “It definitely affects what we can do, and it definitely affects what things cost when you go to the store.”
Leaders at James Mason know rising fuel costs often are passed on to consumers through rising prices for the things they transport. And they expect fuel prices to jump again.
“In the short term, I think it will. You’ve got Memorial Day coming up and typically any type of traveling holiday, you’re going to see a surge or spike in prices before. So, I would anticipate that in the next few weeks,” said James Mason Enterprises CFO Evan Mason.
Even with a built-in fuel surcharge, Mason said his drivers are shopping around for better fuel prices.
“I constantly get updates from them on what fuel’s doing in certain areas,” he said. “Usually, it’s ‘wow, I’ve not seen it over $6 here before.’ That’s unfortunately becoming more and more common.”
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