Earlier this month, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), an organization representing almost 70% of gasoline stations in the United Kingdom, reported that two-thirds of the nation’s stations were out of petrol (called gasoline on this side of the Atlantic).
The result: Consumers have reported long waits at the pump, evoking memories of a fuel crisis that gripped the UK (and the US) back in the 1970s.
The issue isn’t really a shortage of oil or gasoline, it’s a shortage of labor or, more specifically, a shortage of truck drivers to move gasoline from import terminals and refineries to individual filling stations. Indeed, the British government announced plans to use military drivers to help move gasoline and ease the shortages.
In short, demand for gasoline in the UK bounced back from coronavirus lockdowns far faster than many had predicted; yet, there’s a huge backlog in driver tests and permit applications needed to approve new drivers due to coronavirus-related restrictions and delays at government agencies.
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Elliott and Roger on Jun. 29, 2022