By Reagan Payne
Whether in the industry or in the news, every individual has at least heard of the truck driver shortage. Coming in hot this summer is the shortage of tanker drivers, crippling fuel companies and making it nearly impossible to get drivers of all kinds where they need to be.
For the most part, it has not impacted the lives of the average, everyday American. Toilet paper, milk, and bread quickly returned to the shelves after the country’s panic purchases following the announcement of the global pandemic in 2020.
Also following the pandemic, the demand for gas fell dramatically as people stayed home for their own safety and that of others. Tanker drivers took note and either switched hauls or lost work altogether.
Now, as vaccines flow through the veins of one third of all Americans, gas is flowing through car engines more now than within the past year. Traveling, whether it be for work or leisure, might even be more of a commodity now than it was before.
There might be a low availability of gas, but not due to a shortage of fuel. Needless to say, tanker drivers are needed once again – and desperately so.
This shortage of tanker drivers could lead to a shortage of gas this summer. A gas station owner in Mobile, Ala., told his local news station that his gas provider already warned him about this possibility.
“They already gave us the heads up like that’s going to happen,” Hamed Akbarian, owner of Budget Zone Gas Station, told Birmingham TV outlet ABC 33/40. The provider now requires gas stations to place fuel orders 48 hours in advance, instead of the typical 24-hour notice.
The National Tank Truck Carriers Association says 20-25% of tanker trucks are parked due to a lack of qualified drivers. This is double the amount at this point in 2019. Trucking companies with tankers are working to correct this problem: giving a grace period after hiring to obtain a tanker endorsement is just one solution.
Reagan Payne is a writer for Wright Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.