‘It’s crushing’: Diesel fuel prices drive up cost of goods in Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A diesel fuel shortage across the United States continues to drive up the cost of goods and groceries in Memphis.

“It’s crushing,” said Marcus Campbell, a driver from Jacksonville Florida. “(Prices) are high. I can say it’s affecting my company really bad right now.”

According to this data from the Energy Information Administration, distillate levels are at their lowest since 2008. This spring, the United States banned the imports of all Russian energy products. Some of the country’s refineries have also closed, worsening the shortage.

“Everybody’s paying for it,” said Kevin Box, a driver from Greeneville, Tennessee. “It ain’t just the drivers. It’s everybody.”

According to AAA, the average cost of diesel fuel in Tennessee is $5.10 a gallon. A year ago, the average cost was $3.45 a gallon.

In Tennessee, 1 in 13 jobs are in the trucking industry, the president of Cooper Freight Service told the DeSoto County News.

“Memphis is known as the global supply chain leader – two years running now,” said Ted Townsend, the incoming president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

He said local economists are monitoring jobs in the trucking industry and the cost of everyday goods.

“There are a lot of pressures, obviously, on prices,” Townsend explained. “Transportation is certainly a component of that. I think Memphis has an advantage, given the fact that we are centrally located.”