Trucking company Xenia hit by high diesel prices


XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The trucking industry, which has already been hit hard by a shortage of drivers, is taking another hit from high gas prices. Experts said high fuel costs mean we will see an increase in the prices we pay in stores.

Trucking company Xenia Home Run Inc. hauls building materials to big box hardware stores and home builders. What they are doing is just one example of how important trucks are to shipping goods.

“From bringing your groceries to the store, from your cars to your TV, everything is brought by truck,” said Home Run vice president of operations Tom Milby. “It’s very vital to our whole lifestyle, so we have to have trucks.”

The average price of diesel in Ohio is $5.24, according to AAA.

Due to rising oil prices, Milby said the company had to increase its fuel surcharge. It now costs the customer 95 cents per mile, up from 35 cents a year ago.

“In the 31 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen price increases the way they are right now,” Milby said. “We have never had to charge a customer so much money for diesel fuel.”

Riad Ajami, Wright’s state professor of international business, said it would cost the consumer more because the trucking industry depends on oil and continues to face a shortage of drivers.

“When you combine these factors, there are likely to be shortages,” Ajami said. “Merchandise that you or I usually want to find on the shelves, they won’t be there.”

Milby said that to reduce fuel consumption, his company has implemented a no-idling policy, continues to upgrade its trucks and follows regular tire checks and maintenance.

“In the past, our trucks got five mpg, four to five mpg, now newer trucks get seven or eight mpg,” Milby said. “We’re trying to improve to make our miles per gallon much better.”

Milby said his company has yet to lose customers due to rising costs, but fears that will happen if prices don’t improve.


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