ST. LOUIS—The sign at the gas station might be the only obvious reminder of the high fuel costs, but more and more surcharges and price hikes are leading to even more money being taken from your wallet.
Walter Knoll Florist has several locations in the St. Louis area and trucks in its flowers from Miami every day. Their shippers have added fuel surcharges big enough to make the flowers wilt.
“Well most of our suppliers use a surcharge on their invoice and now the surcharges on freight are coming up to around 30 percent, so we’re expecting it to go much higher in the summer,” said Walter Knoll. “We’re expecting gas prices to high $5.”
Their 30 delivery vehicles rack up a $10,000 gas bill each month.
To keep costs down, they’ve added more fuel-efficient cars and are buying flowers in bigger bulk to reduce costs.
And it’s not just Walter Knoll’s business. Any business that fills up a gas tank to run a tractor or a truck to make a product or deliver it is faced with higher costs that will eventually be passed along. It’s even making the fuel you put in your body more expensive.
From grocery stores to restaurants, rising gas prices are pushing up food costs. The cost of beef and cooking oil are up significantly.
“We honestly just changed our menu,” said Tim Cancila of the Gas House Grill. “Our old menu had gone over a year and we had to increase our prices a little bit, to make sure we’re covering our costs.”