Rises in fuel duty could cost the logistics industry more than £500 million according to figures from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Fuel duty increases by 2p from today with another 2p rise due in four months and one more in April 2010.
It means that the recent one-off VAT reduction, to be reversed at the start of 2010, is cancelled out by the fuel duty raise.
James Hookham, FTA’s director of policy, said: “For many firms, the extra tax bill is equivalent to several drivers’ wages.
“Taken in the context of a shrinking economy and fewer goods being moved around, this could mean significant redundancies across the logistics industry”
FTA, which has long been asking the government to introduce less fuel duty on diesel for commercial vehicles, has written to Gordon Brown calling for immediate action from the Treasury either to reverse the decision, or to look at more intelligent options for commercial vehicles.