Ukraine conflict impacting prices at gas pump, trucking companies

NOW: Ukraine conflict impacting prices at gas pump, trucking companies

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BUTLER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The crisis in Ukraine is impacting Americans in the U.S. -- especially at the gas pump. The national average price for a regular gallon of gas climbed to $3.84 Friday, March 4. Experts at AAA say it's the highest since September 2021.

Trucking companies are also feeling the pressure.

Pam Polyak owns Polyak trucking in Butler. She says they've seen diesel prices jump more than one-dollar in the last two months -- and that prices haven't normalized since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

"Is it a concern for the consumer? Yeah. But it should have been a concern when COVID started to begin with," Polyak said.

Many prices around southeast Wisconsin are still under $4. 

Polyak said her drivers have seen some more than $4 in Kenosha and Sheboygan Counties.

This time of year is usually slower for her drivers, so many will take work on the road. But she tells CBS 58 more are staying local instead as they encounter higher prices across the country.

All the added expenses must be paid by someone.

Polyak said this forces her to think about how much she passes down to shippers, distributers and ultimately customers -- like herself.

"You just have to do that internal deep dive of how much do I want to increase the prices, how much can I absorb versus 'hey, this is business.' We're all going to get impacted somehow and it's not my fault that the gas prices are rising. So I have to do something to ensure that we're still in business at the end of the day," she said.

Polyak believes individual trucking companies will really be hurt by the spike. She said many don't have the same bulk fuel discounts, customer rates and fuel surcharge prices as larger companies so they must immediately absorb the higher costs.

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