Fuel shortages have forced the closure of many petrol stations across the UK. Both BP and Tesco have announced closures due to disruption in delivery of petrol and diesel due to shortage of HGV drivers.
ExxonMobil said a “small number” of its 200 Tesco Alliance forecourts were affected, and it was working to “optimize supplies”.
BP has also seen a small number of its sites nearby, and is reducing its fuel distribution across the forecourt in an effort to supply rations.
It said it holds two-thirds of its normal forecourt stock level for smooth operations – although it could fall sharply in the face of panic.
Why are petrol pumps shutting down?
With empty shelves in supermarkets, retailers say the problem lies in the supply chain disruption caused by a chronic post-Brexit reduction in the number of HGV drivers.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said Britain needs more than 100,000 drivers to keep shops stocked and supplies running.
Since the UK left the EU, in which HGV drivers can travel across borders, many non-UK nationals driving trucks have opted to operate entirely within EU countries, allowing logistics firms to find workers. are fighting for.
The situation has been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, with many more non-UK nationals returning to their countries unable or unwilling to return due to restrictions on cross-border travel.
The COVID-related closure of exam centers for several months has also exacerbated the shortage of qualified drivers, although the transport department recently changed the rules to speed up the process of qualification.
RHA says 30,000 HGV tests could not go ahead last year due to the pandemic, resulting in 25,000 fewer candidates passing the test in 2020 compared to 2019.
“The biggest issue is staff shortages, with Brexit, COVID and the macroeconomic situation all contributing factors,” the Institute for Government says.
Is there a lack of fuel?
Both the government and the oil companies say that there is no shortage of fuel itself, just its distribution across the country.
The forecourt closure is due to “supply chain delays,” BP said, and there are no problems with supplies at the refineries.
A government spokesman said: “There is no shortage of fuel in the UK, and people should continue to buy fuel as normal.
“We recognize the challenges facing the industry and have already taken action to increase the supply of HGV drivers, including streamlining the process for new drivers and increasing the number of driving tests.
“We continue to closely monitor the labor supply and work with field leaders to understand how we can reduce particular pinch points.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /