September 30, 2021
The petroleum product shortage at forecourts began in the United Kingdom when an oil company announced that it would 'temporarily close some outlets' due to the lack of HGV drivers available to safely deliver to it's UK gas stations.
Upon delivery of the news in the media, consumers began to queue at petrol forecourts with a panic buying response. Over the weekend, queues began to form with drivers waiting to fill their fuel tanks leading to the inevitable petroleum product shortages.
The BBC reported 'Urban areas have been hardest hit, while Northern Ireland has been unaffected'.
Many countries across Europe are currently impacted by a driver shortage, particularly the United Kingdom. Brexit has been cited as one of the reasons for the impact in the United Kingdom. Post-Brexit, the United Kingdom saw an exodus of European drivers from the country due to new Brexit legislation of living and working in the UK and return to their home countries. This was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the UK driver shortage is not a new topic of conversation for hauliers in the United Kingdom. The aging population of HGV license holders has been a particular concern in recent years. It is also important to note that in addition to an HGV license, petroleum drivers must hold additional qualifications for the carriage of dangerous goods.
Current UK operations at Crane Worldwide Logistics remain unaffected by the petroleum shortage instigated by consumer panic buying. Crane Worldwide's UK Managing Director, Amit Bij, confirmed today 'We have seen the haulage situation worsen over the past months especially container trucking, but more recently standard truck collection/deliveries have also been effected and this is impacting all logistics companies in the UK. The current petroleum shortage has not impacted our operations and we are keeping abreast of the situation'.
The Petrol Retailers Association in the UK said in a statement today “There are early signs that the crisis at pumps is ending, with more of our members reporting that they are now taking further deliveries of fuel. Fuel stocks remain normal at refineries and terminals, although deliveries have been reduced due to the shortage of HGV drivers. We have conducted a survey of our members this morning and only 37% of forecourts have reported being out of fuel today. With regular restocks taking place, this percentage is likely to improve further over the next 24 hours”.
The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) represents the interests of the independent forecourts across the UK which equates to 65% of the 8,380 total.