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Northland consumers are paying for high fuel costs, with the region's transport companies passing on the rises with a fuel surcharge.
The cost of diesel has risen by more than 50 percent in the past nine months and transport companies say there is little they can do but pass the extra costs on to customers. Some taxi firms have also raised tariffs because of the fuel costs.
Diesel currently costs about 82 cents a litre in Whangarei.
Area manager of the Northern Road Transport Association, Paul Scott said rising fuel costs were affecting the heavy haulage industry throughout the country.
The association, which represents many heavy haulage companies in Northland, had been encouraging its members to increase their rates while the issue of soaring fuel costs was in the public eye.
"If rates aren't increased it comes off the bottom line (profit). It would be common now for heavy haulage companies to be adding those costs on," he said.
"The only thing we can do about it is increase the rates. We can't control the fuel price as that is determined by worldwide factors. The real issue for us is to make customers aware that because of the rising costs of fuel a surcharge has had to be implemented."
Mr Scott said he would be surprised if there were many heavy transport companies that did not have a fuel surcharge or who had not passed on the rising fuel costs to customers in other ways.
United Carriers managing director Ajit Balasingham said the cost of diesel had risen by almost 50 percent since February and companies could not afford to absorb the rise.
Mr Balasingham said United Carriers, which is Northland's largest transport company, spent about 12 percent of its operating costs on fuel charges.
"If fuel goes up by 50 percent that means that we need to up our rates by six percent just to retain the status quo," he said.
"We have tried to pass on as much of that increase as possible. Our margins are pretty tight and it wouldn't be worth doing the job if we didn't pass it on."
The fuel surcharge was reviewed on a monthly basis and adjusted to reflect the cost of fuel.Many other transport companies also used a fuel surcharge, Mr Balasingham said.
"Some of our contractors hit us with one (a fuel surcharge) as well, which is understandable. The consumer seems to be accepting of it as well," he said.
Mr Balasingham said New Zealand's high dollar may have protected us from fuel being even more expensive.
"If the exchange rate goes down it will be far worse for us. We want to see fuel prices come down because the economy can't sustain it at this price for much longer," he said.
"It means higher costs for everybody but it's pretty much beyond our control."
A1 Cabs owner Robert Gregory said rising petrol prices had forced the company to put up tariffs by about 6 percent, from $1.60 to $1.80, a month ago.
Mr Gregory said petrol would have to rise by about another 10 cents a litre before the company would have to look at its tariffs again.
Kiwi Cabs spokesman Fraser Cann said his firm was still absorbing the extra fuel costs and had not lifted its tariffs yet but would have to look at it seriously in the next few weeks.