The UK Government has announced that further measures will be put in place to help ease supply chain pressures as spikes in demand for fuel create a panic buying hysteria.
This added pressure to already stretched supply chains is a further blow to affected businesses across the UK.
The Government has announced the new measures in a bid to help ease issues currently affecting petrol stations across the UK, including the placement of a team of military drivers to improve delivery of fuel to out of stock petrol retailers.
Last week saw motorists across the UK panic-buy fuel after BP and Esso warned that their stations were experiencing a shortage of petrol and diesel deliveries due to the shortage of HGV drivers.
Despite efforts made by the UK Government to assure the public that there was no reason for concern or panic buying, cars descended in their thousands to petrol stations across the country to fill up their vehicles despite the Government’s advice.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“The UK continues to have strong supplies of fuel; however, we are aware of the supply chain issues at fuel station forecourts and are taking steps to ease these as a matter of priority.”
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has authorised an extension to ADR driver licenses, which allow drivers to transport goods, such as fuel. This will aim to provide immediate relief to the shortage of HGV drivers, by allowing affected drivers to maximise their available capacity instead of being taken out of circulation for refresher training purposes.
It doesn’t stop with fuel, however. As a result of many EU drivers returning to their home countries due to COVID-19 and Brexit, a stock and supply shortage crisis has emerged in the UK, with an estimated shortfall of 100,000 drivers, according to the Road Haulage Association (RHA). Meanwhile, the existing workforce is rapidly ageing. The industry body is warning that about a third of the UK’s 380,000 drivers may retire within the next five years.
Last week, the Government announced a further package of measures to help ease supply chain pressures, including an introduction of short-term visas for HGV drivers, increasing HGV testing and establishing bootcamps to train up to 3,000 more people to become HGV drivers, providing more flexibility for the industry.