Gas Prices Impact the Valley

Fresno AAA reports the average price of a gallon on regular unleaded is $3.50 in Fresno.

It's even higher for South Valley drivers ringing in at $3.54 a gallon in the Visalia area.

The average is about $3.50 for people in Merced.

Valley drivers, especially of SUV's are feeling the pinch.

One local courier company has changed the way they do business in response to soaring prices.

Filling up at the pump has become pricy, especially for companies who rely on hitting the road to turn a profit.

"It makes people think twice before using a service like ours."

Mike Richards owns Right Now Couriers.

The past months he's had to get creative to find ways to work around the fuel factor.

Mike Richards: "There is one thing we've been doing. We've actually been buying these new Yaris' to help save on gas-they're very accommodating. "

These Toyota Yaris' get anywhere from 29 to 35 miles per gallon but even that isn't enough, like so many other package delivery companies Richards has been forced to add a Fuel surcharge to customers.

That means on a standard local delivery tacking on a dollar fifty more and adding four dollars more to an emergency delivery.

Some customers have cut back on shipping as a result; others simply don't understand why they are paying more for the same service.

"It's more of a luxury item so therefore customers have a hard time justifying any increases. A lot of customers don't understand why we would charge an extra 16 to 20 percent fuel increase."

Unfortunately for customers who are in a hurry to get their packages picked up and dropped off gas related increases are becoming customary at most shipping companies.

Now I checked around at other local delivery companies to see what type of price increases they are passing on to customers, some range from 15 to 40 percent so those shipping costs can definitely get expensive.

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