Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023:
Diesel prices up another 14 cents
The pain at the pump continues for truck owners, as diesel prices jumped another 13.9 cents during the week ending Aug. 14, rising to a national average of $4.38 per gallon.
The Energy Information Administration’s latest update shows the fourth straight week of fairly significant increases. Diesel’s national average has skyrocketed since the week ending July 17, rising 57.2 cents in the four weeks since.
According to EIA, prices increased in all regions last week, led by California, which saw a 17.9-cent increase, followed by the Lower Atlantic region, which saw a 17.5-cent increase.
California remains the only part of the country with prices averaging over $5/gallon, now at $5.52 a gallon. It’s followed by the West Coast less California at $4.71 per gallon.
The cheapest diesel can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $4.10 per gallon, followed by the Midwest region at $4.32 per gallon.
Prices in other regions, according to EIA:
- New England — $4.37
- Central Atlantic — $4.50
- Lower Atlantic — $4.37
- Rocky Mountain — $4.39
ProMiles’ diesel averages during the most recent week showed a 10.8-cent increase to $4.25 a gallon nationwide.
According to the ProMiles Fuel Surcharge Index, the most expensive diesel can be found in California at $5.48 per gallon, and the cheapest can be found in the Gulf Coast region at $3.94 per gallon.
Even with fuel on its way up, benchmark spot averages all edged down. Here’s the view from DAT Freight & Analytics’ load board network last week:
- Vans: $2.07 a mile ($1.57 without fuel). Down 2 cents from the previous week.
- Reefers: $2.45 a mile ($1.91 without fuel). Down 3 cents.
- Flatbeds: $2.51 a mile ($1.91 without fuel). Down 5 cents.
Canadian driver busted with $10M of suspected cocaine in New York
A Canadian truck driver was arrested and charged recently after being found with 850 pounds of suspected cocaine, according to a press release from Trini E. Ross, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.
Ahmed El Kady, 37, of Hamilton, Ontario, was charged with possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan E. Leydecker, who is handling the case, said that according to the complaint, on Aug. 7, El Kady made entry into the United States at the Ambassador Bridge Port of Entry in Detroit, Michigan, driving a commercial truck without a commercial trailer attached. El Kady advised CBP Officers that he was picking up a trailer locally in Detroit.
Investigators surveilled El Kady and his truck to the TA Travel Center in Dexter, Michigan, where, over the next two days, he appeared to make some sort of exchange with the drivers of two other commercial trucks. Investigators continued to surveil El Kady as he traveled to Ohio before returning to Dexter, Michigan, and making another exchange with the driver of a third commercial truck. El Kady then traveled to Buffalo, New York, arriving on the evening of Aug. 9, and spending the night at local truck stop.
On Aug. 10, in the early afternoon, El Kady’s wife, Maja Tambur, allegedly arrived at the truck stop. El Kady and Tambur got into Tambur’s vehicle, traveling to Niagara Falls, where they made frequent stops throughout the area and were observed driving evasively in a manner consistent with individuals conducting counter surveillance.
After their attempts to lose investigators from their surveillance, El Kady and Tambur attempted to return to the truck stop to El Kady’s truck. A federal search warrant was executed on the truck, during which approximately 386 kilograms (850 pounds) of suspected cocaine was seized, and El Kady was taken into custody.
FleetPride acquires Washington repair shop
FleetPride has acquired the assets of Integrity Fleet Services, a provider of fleet maintenance and repair services, based in Pacific, Washington.
This acquisition is aligned with FleetPride’s growth objectives and will further solidify its position as a leader in the commercial vehicle services industry, the company said.
Integrity Fleet Services has built a strong reputation over the years, serving a diverse range of commercial fleet customers, FleetPride noted. The acquisition will enable FleetPride to enhance its service offerings by working Integrity Fleet Services’ expertise and customer-centric approach into its existing operations. Customers will benefit from a nationwide network of service centers and a broader range of service options.
“Integrity Fleet Services brings truck and trailer service expertise and great talent to our organization,” says Mike Harris, FleetPride president of parts and service. “We are excited to welcome Glen [Grader, owner of IFS] and the entire Integrity Fleet Services team to FleetPride. With a service center located in Pacific, Washington, a fleet of mobile maintenance trucks on the road, and our existing parts locations nearby, this creates a winning combination for customers.”