This summer, don’t be surprised if some gas stations have signs hanging up that say, “Sorry, we don’t have any gas.” And it’s not because of a lack of oil or gasoline production. Nope. It’s because there aren’t enough drivers to deliver fuel to gas stations.
The Impact of Driver Shortages on Fuel Prices
In the summer of 2020, fewer people were driving because they were staying home, “in lockdown” and/or quarantining thanks to the spread of the coronavirus. Now, in 2021, more and more people are venturing out of their homes and want to travel… But up to 25% of trucks that deliver gas are literally parked and not going anywhere right now, due to a lack of drivers. The National Tank Truck Carriers trade group reports that the number is up 15% from the beginning of last summer, and that’s not good news for consumers.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, and less people driving last year, many truck drivers opted for other jobs. That, and the fact that the government doled out great unemployment benefits and stimulus checks deterred people from coming back to their trucking jobs. “Why work when I can get paid to stay home?” is the current mantra among many former drivers.
One of the other problems is that it’s harder to become a tank truck driver than a “regular” truck driver, so not as many people want to do it. Did you know it can take up to six months to obtain a license to drive a tank truck? Couple that with the need for a commercial driver’s license, a four-week course, and 160 hours of training, and that’s a lot to demand of people. Plus, think about this: many truck driving schools were shut down for months on end during the pandemic!
What does all this mean? This summer, expect gas prices to continue to rise, while more and more gas stations will be “out of gas.”
If you need help finding reliable truck drivers during the shortage, learn how Platinum Drivers can help you.