Diesel prices in Sacramento have been in the $3 per gallon range in recent weeks. That has made some independent truckers refuse to carry less than a full load of goods. Some have stopped putting themselves up for hire because the high fuel costs cut too far into their margins.
Before a harvest starts, truckers and food processors generally sign contracts that include fuel surcharges. But even though food processors and big retailers often pay surcharges, truckers can’t recover all their fuel costs when diesel prices are this high.
Grape growers, for instance, often absorb fuel costs, rather than have wineries pay.