In the last week, fuel supply chain issues and a shortage of truck drivers have meant panic buying of petrol and diesel across the UK.
According to the Petrol Retailers Association, which represents 5,500 independent fuel retailers in the UK, said that approximately two-thirds of its members had run out of fuel.
The government has announced measures to deal with the problem and says that the situation should improve in the coming days. However, the British army was put on standby on Monday evening and could potentially be called in to ease the supply chain issues.
These supply chain issues have also affected the food sector. There is a combination of factors contributing to this: the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s exit from the European Union, and an aging workforce meaning fewer truck drivers.
In a statement, the government said it had a “limited number of military tanker drivers on a state of readiness and deployed if necessary to further stabilise fuel supply chain.” Military drivers will also be given the training to work in the industry.
In addition to this, the government has relaxed competition rules for the fuel industry. It hopes this will allow companies to deliver fuel to the places most in need more easily.
Another measure that was announced is that licenses for HGVs due to expire before the end of the year will be extended for a month, 5,000 short-term visas will be issued to lorry drivers, and funding for 4,000 new drivers will be provided.
When will things go back to normal?
In recent days, the UK government has taken a number of steps to ease supply chain issues for fuel. However, it has also blamed the problems on consumer behavior.
Major fuel firms, including BP, Shell, and Esso, said in a joint statement that they expected demand to “return to its normal levels in the coming days” as long as consumers continue to buy fuel as usual and avoid panic buying.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said that “while the fuel industry expects demand will return to its normal levels in the coming days, it’s right that we take this sensible, precautionary step.”
“The UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel, however, we are aware of supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease