The trucking industry has been hit hard by the increasing cost of diesel fuel, especially in the last few months.
Companies are struggling to maintain their bottom line amid fuel costs that are showing no signs of decline.
Owner of CDI International, Roger Hamel, says they've been feeling it for quite a while now, but it's gotten particularly bad this year.
"For the past couple of years, as it's been inching up, our margins have lessened, and lessened, and lessened, but it is only in the last month and a half that we've seen this incredibly quick increases that we've passed onto the customers because we're all-of-a-sudden operating at a significant loss."
He says companies are looking to create more efficiency wherever they can, but with recent soaring costs, they have no choice but to pass expenses onto their customers, which inevitably affects consumers.
It's only exacerbated by the competitive nature of the industry.
"It's hard to find any kind of balance. It's a very competitive industry, lots of competition, and price increases, not just on fuel, but on trucks, on trailers, on steel. It's difficult to get a handle on where you need to be, rate-wise. We're heavy haulers, so every piece of equipment we haul is heavy, wide and high. Very difficult to get a competitive rate structure put together that lasts more than a week... It's hard to try to figure out how to pass that on, or what you can even pass onto your customer because there is so much competition out there."
They, and all Albertans struggling at the pump, did receive some help from the provincial government in April when they stopped collecting the 13-cent fuel tax.
For Hamel, the move did have an effect, but it was akin to a bandage on a bullet hole.
"We did see the drop last month, but it's crept up again. I don't know what caused it to creep back up, whether it's federal taxes or the duel companies creeping the prices back up, but we're close to the $2 a litre level right now, which is the highest it's ever been. Ever been."
It's the latest blow for the trucking industry, which saw mounting pressure during the pandemic as demand for goods was hampered by COVID and increased difficulty in crossing borders, as well as protest convoys affecting the public's perception of the industry.
"We've gotten a few black eyes. Our industry is so frustrated because we can't stop, we are a required industry... Please have some respect for those guys out on the road. There are a lot of true, lifelong professionals out there that deserve the respect of the public. They haven't stopped at all through the whole pandemic. I'm proud of our operators."