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Newspaper Carriers Work With Rivals

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Newspaper Carriers Work With Rivals

Business

Newspaper Carriers Work With Rivals

Newspaper Carriers Work With Rivals

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Frank Saracino, a newspaper carrier spends roughly $300 a week on gas. He now mostly delivers on Sundays and evenings to avoid traffic. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of papers collaborate with a competitor on delivery.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Well, we've heard about cruise ships and airlines making changes in hopes of permanently reducing their fuel bills. Now, to some smaller players in the economy, a couple of people who buy fuel by the gallon, not the tanker, and to tally their energy costs in hundreds of dollars, not billions.

AUDIE CORNISH: So, I'm Audie Cornish here in Nashville with Frank Saracino. He's a newspaper carrier who delivers to hundreds of stops across the county. And with the summer gas prices, that has meant big changes to his budget. So Frank, tell us what is your weekly budget for gas?

Mr. FRANK SARACINO (Newspaper Carrier): Roughly $300 a week.

CORNISH: That's 50 percent higher than last summer. And Saracino doesn't get reimbursed for mileage. His main client is an alternative weekly called the Nashville Scene. Saracino putters from gas station to barber shop in a minivan, adding papers to plastic seam boxes and wire racks. And he meticulously checks the number of leftover from the week before.

Mr. SARACINO: We have an empty seam box already for 50 publications. And my American Classified is running low.

CORNISH: Saracino gets paid by the stop. To cut their cost, his publishers are now dropping locations that don't move 25 papers or more. And that's money out of Saracino's pocket, so were high fuel cost.

Saracino has had to make long-term changes to the way he does business. He mostly delivers on Sundays and evenings to avoid traffic, and he consolidates routes to piggyback deliveries.

Mr. SARACINO: But it's very hard because it - they don't crisscross that often, you know? Or I'll work with another driver where he'll run some of my stuff and I'll run some of his stuff.

CORNISH: He's not the only one. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of U.S. papers now collaborate with a competitor on delivery.

Audie Cornish, NPR News, Nashville.

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Rising Oil Prices Goad Industries To Conserve

An MD-80 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines is retiring this fleet. Rick Gershon/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Rick Gershon/Getty Images

An MD-80 aircraft sits on the tarmac at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American Airlines is retiring this fleet.

Rick Gershon/Getty Images

On 'All Things Considered'

To Cut Fuel Costs, American Switches To 737s

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Cruise Line Seeks To Trim $772M Fuel Bill

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Newspaper Carriers Work With Rivals

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Appliance Stores Look To Energy Efficiency

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After a brief respite, oil prices are moving higher again. The price per barrel rose more than $5 Thursday, closing at just over $121.

The months and months of high prices have provided more than enough incentive for American businesses — from airlines to cruise lines to newspapers — to invest in long-term energy saving measures.

Airlines Replace Planes

The airline industry will spend more than $61 billion on fuel this year. With a bill like that, there's little wonder that carriers are taking steps to cut energy costs.

American Airlines, the world's largest, is changing the planes it flies.

It's quickly retiring the workhorse of its fleet: the MD-80. Many MD-80s are nearly 20 years old, and they burn lots of fuel. American is replacing them with new Boeing 737s, which are about 25 percent more fuel efficient, according to the airline.

Cruise Lines Adjust Times

Cruise lines are dipping their oars in those waters as well.

In Miami, Royal Caribbean says it's turning off air conditioners, changing light bulbs and taking other commonsense steps to reduce its $772 million fuel bill.

It's also adjusting arrival and departure times to allow ships to reduce sailing speeds and conserve. These are some steps that are unique to the cruise business.

Royal Caribbean is using a new kind of paint that keeps ship hulls clean.

"Marine growth is what really creates ... resistance in the water," says John Krousouloudis of Royal's Celebrity Cruise Lines. "And that drives up [our] fuel bill."

Newspapers Consolidate Deliveries

On a much smaller scale, independent businesses are making changes to cut their fuel bills.

In Nashville, Tenn., newspaper deliveryman Frank Saracino says he's doing some of his routes on Sundays and evenings to avoid wasting gas in traffic.

He's also consolidating deliveries, and sharing work with his competitors.

"I will work with another driver," Saracino says. "He'll run some of my stuff and I will run some of his stuff."

And he's not the only one. Nationwide, more than 40 percent of papers now collaborate with a competitor on delivery.

Energy-Efficient Appliances Sell Fast

With all of the focus on reducing energy use, energy-efficient appliances are selling fast at stores around the country.

At Appliance Distributors Unlimited just outside Washington, D.C., showroom manager Ed Janeski says his catalogs are filled with products featuring the little blue "energy star" sticker.

And his store is getting in on the act itself. It has installed programmable thermostats to cut off the air conditioning or heat during off hours.

Reported by Wade Goodwyn, Greg Allen, Audie Cornish and Libby Lewis.

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