AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The trucking industry has experienced a lot over the past year. Now, high fuel prices are an issue and the supply chain is still suffering.

Around a year ago, the trucking industry struggled with moving goods. Barges couldn’t deliver materials to land, creating delays in shipments. Ron Myers and Cathy Caldwell own Southwind Truck Lines in Austintown. They’ve had to adjust how they do business.

“There’s occasions where you’ll come up and you’ll have to ship part loads to different destinations so that their customers can get product,” Caldwell said.

Gas prices have had a huge impact on the trucking industry. It’s led to a domino effect of other issues.

“It’s challenging. We’ve been doing this since 1994 so we’ve seen pretty much anything that can happen in the industry other than the last few years the fuel’s been the highest ever,” Myers said. “All of a sudden, your grocery bills go up, your car parts, anything you buy is naturally higher than it was before.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, diesel fuel prices are around $5.30 per gallon. That’s over $1.60 more compared to this time last year. Fuel surcharges have also increased significantly. In October 2020, diesel fuel cost around 21 cents per mile. Now, it’s at 70 cents per mile. Myers and Caldwell tell said it takes a while for this price to drop.

“If fuel prices rise in x amount of cents, their rate per mile may go up a couple of cents that type of thing, and they put those into their pricing. It’s a challenge,” Caldwell said.

Myers and Caldwell say job flexibility in the trucking industry has improved.

“A lot of people like to work from home. We’re thinking of franchising that can work,” Myers said.

“The ability to move and change with society. This is an industry that allows you to work at your pace,” Caldwell said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts average diesel prices to drop under $5 dollars per gallon in 2023.