Shipping Costs May Follow Fuel Prices Up

The gas pump isn't the only place consumers are paying more these days. Shoppers may soon be paying more for store-bought items, due to higher shipping costs for railroads and trucking companies, according to the New York Times.

High gas prices have hit the shipping business particularly hard with diesel prices continuing to climb. Shippers may soon be raising their fuel surcharges for items shipped to ports and stores, the Times reported.

According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry is expected to spend $142 billion on diesel this year alone, more than four-times the $35billion it spent last year. Higher fuel prices may bring more business to the nation's railroads; however they too are struggling with fuel costs.

Union Pacific, one of the country's largest railroad franchises, paid an average of $2.88 per gallon in the first quarter of this year, up one-third from the first quarter of 2010, according to its recent first-quarter report. CSX Corporation, another railroad company, reported in its first-quarter results, that higher fuel costs added $119 million to its expenses for the year.

The Times reports the shipping price hike is likely if gas prices do not fall soon.