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Consumers pay about $1,100 each for gas used by the trucking industry

Graph1Ever wonder how much it costs to ship all the stuff we buy around the country?

More than $1,100 of the cost of the goods and services households buy annually goes to pay for the fuel used to transport them.

“When it comes to goods and services, the American consumer really does ‘pay the freight,’” said Jack Gillis, author of “The Car Book” and spokesman for the Consumer Federation of America. “From a household energy expense perspective, the amount consumers pay for truck fuel is almost as much as they spend for home electricity and about half of what a typical household pays for gasoline.”

Two federation America surveys, July 2014 and 2015, found that the nearly all consumers understand that “some, most, or all” of the fuel costs of heavy-duty trucks, which transport consumer goods, are passed on to consumers. More than 55 percent believe that “all or most” of these costs are passed on to the consumer.

At a public hearing on increasing national fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, Gillis presented survey results that show consumers understand that the cost of fuel inefficient trucks is passed on to them and that they’d like to see standards requiring increased fuel efficiency.

Gillis said the public debate on the issue has largely focused on environmental and industry concerns, but consumer economics are an important part of the decision to carry out the proposed standards.

“The bottom line: consumers get it,” he said. “In this particular case, what is good for the consumer’s pocketbook is also good for the environment and the economics of the trucking industry.”

The federation said that consumer benefits would be in the billions.

Copyright 2015, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

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