High diesel fuel prices are no friend to trucking and logistics services provider Ruan – but the company believes smaller fleets and owner-operators are the ones suffering the brunt of the spike in prices.

“Fuel prices are a significant concern. We operate 3,000 trucks and even though we have the ability to pass on the higher cost of fuel through our [dedicated carriage] contracts, that higher cost goes into the supply chain and ends up making ground transportation less competitive,” Mark Murfin, Ruan’s vp-sales and marketing, told Fleet Owner.

“But as the price of diesel escalates, it really hurts smaller carriers the most, along with the owner-operators,” he said. “For us, higher diesel prices affect our margins, not our ability to survive, like it does them.”

“Virtually every trucker is significantly impacted by the runup in fuel costs and the possibility those costs may keep climbing,” said Todd Spencer, executive vp for the Owner Operator Independent Drivers association (OOIDA).

“Basically it was a combination of increased cost of fuel in the year 2000 and truckers' inability to offset those costs that started the recession that trucking is slowly recovering from now,” he added. “Surely, every economic calamity does not have to be repeated over and over again.”