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“Truckloads of toilet tissue, truckloads of paper towels, all those things, all those commodities are going to cost more,” he said. “It’s reality. It’s going to touch everything.”
Everything is transported either directly to consumers or to retail outlets — grocery stores, malls, brick-and-mortar outlets.
“The trucking industry brings everything that you see,” said Tom Milby, director of safety for Xenia trucking company Homerun Inc. “Your food, your cars.”
Shipping tonnage is up. The number of truck drivers is down. In addition, electronic logging requirements that went into effect in late 2017 are controlling hours of service for trucking, too, Burch said.
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“You’re going to need more people to handle the same amount of freight,” he said. “Well guess what? We have a economy that’s going like crazy right now, so that just compounds it.”
McDonald’s long-time distributor Martin-Brower Co. is raising delivery fees, which affects menu prices, numerous media reports have said.
“Yesterday, I was at McDonald’s,” Burch said in an interview last week. “They even raised their dollar deals because of this.”
Milby said his company has 200 drivers — but it could use 300.
“With the baby boomers retiring, Millennials don’t want to get into the trucking business,” he said. “It’s just a struggle for us to get to that number.”
The company is looking for local and out-of-town drivers. And good drivers can expect to make good money, Milby added. “I’ve got drivers making $80,000 a year.”
Gas taxes in Ohio could also rise. Gov. Mike DeWine has proposed a 18-cent-per gallon gas tax hike that would generate about $1.2 billion a year for roads and bridges, although legislators recently have begun trimming that request.
It’s not just trucking that’s pushing costs up.
In January 2020, the International Maritime Organization is expected to impose new limits on sulfur pollution from ships on international waters. That’s also expected to impact freight rates.