Lack of Drivers Could Cause Connecticut And NY Gas Shortage This Summer
There's no shortage of gas in our area, but believe it or not, this summer some gas stations might see their tanks run dry.
More and more people are feeling safer and hitting the road, so some experts are expecting a large number of people taking a long awaited vacation this summer, and there's a chance they may have a hard time finding gas in the area.
So why, if there's plenty of gasoline, will people have a tough time filling up at the pump? The answer is there's actually a shortage of tanker truck drivers.
According to wfsb.com, some 20% to 25% of trucks that would normally be out on the road delivering gas, are now just sitting waiting for drivers. A Spokesperson for the NTTC, the National Tanker Truck Carriers, says that there was a driver shortage prior to the pandemic, but since the start of COVID-19, the number of drivers needed has even grown since many drivers left last year when the industry came to a halt due to the pandemic. Couple that with many drivers getting close to the retirement age, and others not wanting to adhere to the new safety protocols and you have a recipe for a major gas shortage come summertime.
The other tricky part is that not all licensed truck drivers are permitted to drive a tanker truck. Tanker truck drivers are required to have a special certification, their commercial drivers license, and weeks of special training after they take the position, so those stipulations plus the fact that the driver training schools for all the new drivers had been shutdown for months due to CDC guidance, and that pipeline of drivers that would normally already be behind the wheel of gas trucks has yet to be filled.
So basically all those above factors have left the industry high and dry as we approach what could be the busiest travel season in well over a year.
Now don't panic just yet, most stations are getting their deliveries. However places like vacation hot spots are starting to see the residual effect already, and as we know from the toilet paper shortage last year, people's behavior can trigger a domino effect and could make the perception of a shortage worse then it really is.