A logging business in North Carolina is shutting down over accelerating inflation and soaring gas prices.
“I haven’t talked to a logger in the last few years that is actually making money,” its owner said.
Gasoline prices have risen by nearly 50% over the past year.
A family-run logging business in North Carolina is shutting down after being unable to cope with accelerating inflation and soaring gas prices.
Bobby Goodson, who set up Goodson’s All Terrain Logging 37 years ago, said that he couldn’t find a way to keep the business running.
“I haven’t talked to a logger in the last few years that is actually making money,” Goodson said in a video posted on his YouTube channel on May 10, where he announced that he was closing his business.
Goodson said that he was going to start selling off his equipment. “I can’t park the stuff for six, eight months, a year waiting for the economy to turn around,” he said.
Fuel prices have been soaring in the US as a result of post-pandemic demand and the conflict in Ukraine. As of Monday, regular gasoline cost $4.491 per gallon on average, up $1.463 from the same time a year ago, per the US Energy Information Administration, an increase of nearly 50%. Though crude oil prices have eased recently, oil refiners have become a bottleneck in the energy market, pushing up gas prices.
“When you got a fleet of trucks, and you’re running probably 700 to 800 miles a day, a truck is going to get five miles to the gallon,” Goodson told News Channel 12, an ABC-affiliated network. “That fuel increase kills you. And so I didn’t see any way out.”
It’s not just rising gas prices that’s making business harder for Goodson. He told News Channel 12 that there were shortages of trucks and the cost of nearly every piece of operating equipment had risen.
The price of vehicles rose 13.2% between April 2021 and April 2022, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, while used car and truck prices were up by 22.7%.
“In the US, logging is a $300 billion industry, and we loggers are the ones where it starts,” Goodson told News Channel 12. “That’s the grassroots; we are at the bottom of the totem pole. And when we start failing, there’s a whole lot of people that are going to start feeling the pain.”
In the third quarter of 2021, there were just over 9,000 logging and forestry establishments in the US, per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of April 2022, around 45,300 people worked in the logging sector, per preliminary seasonally-adjusted data from the BLS.
“If something drastic doesn’t happen, there’s gonna be a severe logger shortage,” Goodson told News Channel 12.
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