It’s not just the cost of fuel. It’s that the true cost of transportation is heavily subsidized…trucks piggy-back on infrastructure built for cars. I wonder if pappa Dwight expected his Interstate Highway System to be used (arguably, abused) by trucks to carry freight. Back then, much freight was down via ship and train.
When fuel prices went high in the 2000’s, freight by train was sexy again. Sadly, many of the US rail lines have been torn up; it’s but a fraction of what was there in 1970s and before.
The other sad thing is that the short sea and rail infrastructure in the USA used to exist! Funny how we sit here and say “OMG it will be so much $$$$$ to do short sea shipping”. But we used to have canals, barges, trains, etc. Oh well.