Fuel surcharge increase hits consumers
Travel, trucking industries react to high oil prices due to situation in Libya
Travellers and businesses that use trucking firms can expect to pay more as the higher cost of fuel due to unrest in Libya is passed on to them.
Fuel surcharges have been rising as unrest continues in Libya and the Middle East.
Sunquest increased its fuel surcharge on return trips from $90 to $120 last week.
Kathleen Hoolihan, a Halifax travel agent, said she has heard from Transat and other companies about their increases too.
Many are adding at least $30 to the price of vacation packages because they face higher jet fuel costs, said Hoolihan, president of Carlson Wagonlit Brooks Travel.
But she doubts that extra cost will interrupt vacation plans.
"If people have plans in their head that they were planning to go to Europe this year, I don't think the fact that it might cost $50 more for fuel is going to totally change your plans," she said.
Hoolihan said the increase won't affect those who have already booked.
But those higher bills may appear somewhere else.
Many trucking companies have hiked their fuel surcharge to 35 per cent from 30 per cent in the past week, said Jean Marc Picard, with the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association.
It means businesses that hire these trucks pay more.
"Between 90 and 95 per cent of all goods in the Maritimes has been on a truck at some point in time, so it has an impact," said Picard.
Oil prices soared last week to $100 US per barrel — the highest since October 2008 — as fighting continued in Libya.
The travel and trucking industries say the extra cost to consumers is relatively low, but that could change if the unrest overseas continues.