Rep. Manzullo says small businesses are suffering from fuel costs

| 9/8/2005

Rep. Don Manzullo of Illinois spoke to the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the rising cost fuel and how prices impact small businesses. Manzullo is chairman of the House Committee on Small Business.

One of the stories he told at the hearing was about Richard Todd, who operates Todd Transfer of Rockford, IL. Manzullo said Todd told him personally that the cost of fuel is tipping the balance of the scales to where Todd is operating without any profits. Todd’s trucking company normally runs on a margin of 2 to 3 percent and fuel increases are eating into that margin.

Congressman Manzullo told the committee that Todd’s fuel prices are up $90,000 in the last six months and his company is forced to absorb more of the costs because Todd Transfer’s biggest customers will not pay a fuel surcharge. He is only able to pass on his additional fuel costs or surcharges to his smaller customers, who themselves are struggling.

Manzullo told the committee about Bob Trojan of Rockford, IL, a hydraulic cylinder manufacturer. Trojan told Manzullo that the cost to run his plan has increased between 20 and 30 percent because of soaring fuel prices. Trojan said because he is a small manufacturer, trucking companies have added surcharges on to his shipments.

OOIDA has fought for several years for a mandatory fuel surcharge. Such a measure was originally included in the House version of the Highway Bill earlier this year. The provision, however, did not make the final version of the recently passed bill.

Congressman Manzullo was a strong supporter of the fuel surcharge provision.