Frachtbox team

Next Crisis In The UK Due To Driver Shortage: Lack Of Fuel

Published 01 Oct 2021

Next Crisis In The UK Due To Driver Shortage: Lack Of Fuel

Next Crisis In The UK Due To Driver Shortage: Lack Of Fuel


Truck drivers... They are not the first ones you think of when it comes to logistics, are they? On the contrary, they are often overlooked. But their lack makes our daily lives a nightmare...


The Hidden Heroes of Logistics: Truck Drivers. This was the title of our blog of 26 June. Frachtbox appreciates them and knows how important truck drivers are in our lives. That is why we included them in our blog, to draw attention to these heroes who continue to work as truck driver despite all the financial and moral difficulties.



The Impact Of The Shortage Of Truck Drivers In The UK Continues


The haulage industry says the U.K. is short of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an ekodur of foreign workers following Britain’s Brexit departure from the European Union last year.


In our blog about three weeks ago, we focused on this topic and mentioned that the UK is facing a 100,000 truck driver shortage. This lack has caused major problems in the supply chain in the UK. Supermarket shelves emptied, restaurants closed, and even well-known fast food chains had to remove certain dishes and beverages from their menus. Britain is now facing a new crisis due to shortage of fuel tanker drivers...


Lack Of Truck Drivers Led To Long Lines At British Gas Stations


A shortage of fuel tanker drivers in Britain has led to empty fuel pumps around the country, creating long lines at gas stations, forced some petrol stations to close and triggered a spate of panic buying by British motorists. Long queues started to build up outside stations across the country over the weekend, amid fears that petrol might run out.


Urban areas have been hardest hit, while Northern Ireland has been unaffected.


The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said about two-thirds of its members were reporting that they had sold out their fuel, with the rest “partly dry and running out soon.”



Drivers Have Been Rushing To Gas Stations To Fill Up


Drivers have been rushing to gas stations to fill up, amid a fuel shortage that has lasted days. Long lines of vehicles formed at many gas stations over the weekend, and tempers frayed as some drivers waited for hours. Police were called to some of the gas stations after scuffleb broke out.


Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association, said the shortages were the result of “panic buying, pure and simple”. “There is plenty of fuel in this country, but it is in the wrong place for the motorists. It is still in the terminals and the refineries”, he told to BBC.


The government insists the U.K. is not facing a fuel shortage, just a shortage of drivers who can deliver it to the pump. But this issue seems not that easy to solve as fuel tanker drivers need additional safety qualifications on top of their HGV licence to be able to transport chemicals such as petrol.



UK Offers Visas To Foreign Truck Drivers And Suspends Competition Laws On Fuel Companies


With thousands of service stations having run dry, the UK government announced a series of emergency measures to address the fuel crisis, including issuing temporary work visas for 5,000 foreign truck drivers and suspending competition law to allow suppliers to deliver fuel to rival operators.



Army Tankers Will Carry Fuel To The Stations To Stop The Crisis


The Ministry of Defence is preparing about 150 qualified military drivers to deliver fuel - and has another 150 personnel ready to support them.


The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) says it will also draw on some of the reserve fleet of 80 tankers which the government keeps for emergencies.


British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, "The sooner we can all return to our normal buying habits, the sooner the situation will return to normal and we all need to play our part," told the BBC.



Precautions Will Also Be Taken For Christmas


After weeks of mounting pressure, the British government said last Saturday it would issue 5,500 visas for poultry workers, in addition to emergency visas for foreign truck drivers, to prevent many British families from having to spend Christmas without turkey or toys.



The Need For HGV Drivers In The UK Is Growing


In the UK, the average age of truck drivers is almost 50. Six years ago, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport said that only 2 per cent of drivers were under 25 and that the industry would need 1.2 million extra workers by 2022.


Meanwhile, some older drivers have retired and there is a huge backlog in HGV driver tests due to Covid. The process for getting an HGV driver licence will be sped up, and nearly one million letters have been sent to existing HGV drivers to encourage them back into the industry, plus there are plans to train 4,000 others.

We hope that the measures taken will be beneficial and that the UK will overcome the current crises as soon as possible.