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Alabama truckers brace for higher fuel costs with Russian invasion

Brown Trucking Company is expecting higher fuel costs.
Brown Trucking Company is expecting higher fuel costs.(Source: WSFA)
Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 6:32 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 10:16 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Inflated gas prices have already taken a toll on Alabama’s trucking industry, and now that Russia has invaded Ukraine those prices are expected to rise.

“If you see a reduction in the amount of fuel that’s supplied, of course, the prices are going to go up,” said Ryan O’Donnell, the terminal manager of Brown Trucking Company in Montgomery.

With the price of diesel up by over a dollar compared to this time last year, per AAA, it is getting expensive to fill up the company’s 563 trucks.

“Say what just happened with Russia, if fuel prices go to $4.25, $4.35, Of course, we got to pass that cost along to our customers and then, in turn, it trickles on down to everyone,” he said.

The trucking leader explains fuel prices can play a big role in the how much shoppers pay for groceries.

“There’s nothing that doesn’t get to a store unless it goes on a truck,” O’Donnell said.

Gas and groceries issues are not the hurdle. Trucking companies are struggling to find drivers.

“Of course, the biggest problem we’re facing right now is a driver shortage,” O’Donnell said. “Across the industry, we’re having difficulty finding good, qualified drivers.”

That is why Brown Trucking is trying to not only maintain but grow its staff.

Those interested in a position can check availabilities on browntruckingjobs.com.

The terminal manager adds it is tricky, especially with lack of interest from young people.

“We’ve got a lot of older drivers that are retiring, and we don’t have as many new drivers coming into the field,” he said. “It’s just the way it is.”

That is the way it is in an industry that’s pushing forward to survive the long haul, even if that means taking on this new challenge.

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