Dear Sweet Pandemic, haven’t we been through enough, already?
Now, the pandemic may be the source of a looming gas shortage this summer, and that puts a huge crimp in my summer road trip plans.
I’m gonna need this madness to stop, okay?
See, there isn’t a shortage of actual factual gasoline.
No, the shortage comes in the form of the tanker truck drivers that deliver the gas to the stations.
We’ve been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it. It certainly has grown exponentially.Ryan Streblow, executive vice president of the Nation Tank Truck Drivers
You want to hear the slightly scary facts?
The NTCC is saying that 20% to 25% of all tanker trucks are parked — just waiting — because there aren’t enough drivers to cover the load.
This all started when the pandemic hit last year, and the drivers all left the business.
People were staying home, and not filling up their cars with gas, so a lot of the drivers didn’t have much work.
We were even hauling boxes for Amazon just to keep our drivers busy. A lot of drivers didn’t want to do the safety protocols. We’re also working with an aging work force. Many said ‘I might as well take it as a cue to retire.Holly McCormick, vice president in charge of driver recruitment and retention at Groendyke Transport
It turns out that working a tanker truck — while it may appear to be better than driving long-haul trucking — is pretty hard work.
According to CNN, to be a tank truck driver “requires special certification, including a commercial driver’s license, and weeks of training after being hired.”
Not a ton of people want to jump through all the hoops that it takes to get their tanker truck drivers qualifications.
You might be thinking, what about the people that were in school to be certified as tanker truck drivers?
Many of the drivers who hired on at tanker carriers last spring when the pandemic first hit left the field relatively quickly, sometimes taking jobs in industries such as construction, which has been booming over the last year.CNN Business
So, does this mean that there will be a run on gasoline?
Well, the short answer is — maybe.
Remember the toilet paper shortage of 2020?
Now that people are more free to go out and about this summer — HELLO, VACATIONS — the demand for gas could be higher than ever.
You see the problem? More demand, shortage of carriers, gas stations running out of the precious liquid gold.
We could be looking at a big problem.
Not only could stations run out of gas, but supply and demand may see prices reaching outrageous heights.
Buckle up people, it could be a wild summer.