Gas services across the country were running out of gasoline just as 43 million Americans were planning to hit the road for the July 4th holiday weekend.
Those that do manage to obtain gas are expected to discover some of the highest prices in almost seven years, with gas now averaging $3.10 a gallon across the US, the highest since October 2014.
Demand has skyrocketed since last summer as COVID weary Americans hit the road again, although the prevailing shortages are being caused by a shortage of available truckers to deliver fuel.
According to CNN, it means numerous services will not be able to get gasoline delivered at all.
The prices are also up 42 per cent compared to a year ago when the pandemic sent gas prices plunging following a huge drop off in demand.
Currently, the outages are not concentrated in one place with services running bare in the Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Colorado and Iowa as well as Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio.
Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service said it used to be an afterthought for station owners to schedule truck deliveries – now it’s job No 1, and he was concerned because July had an increased demand, which worked out to approximately 2,500 to 3,000 more deliveries needed every day, and there were just not enough drivers to do that.
Although a deficit of drivers is a problem throughout the trucking industry, and specific qualifications are required to drive a gas tank and finding new drivers is no easy task, and the pandemic saw several tank drivers retiring with others moving to other trucking jobs after the demand in gasoline dropped so abruptly.
National Tank Truck Carriers estimates 20 per cent to 25 per cent of tank trucks across the country are currently parked up, and Ryan Streblow said to CNN, the executive vice president of the NTTC, that it had certainly grown exponentially.
Although the gasoline demand was comparable to the 2019 pre-pandemic, and that demand was up 16 per cent compared to the end of last year.
AAA is forecasting more than 43 million people to hit the road this Fourth of July weekend with the 2019 record, which saw 41.4 million Americans hit the road, likely to be broken.
There’s a serious deficit of all truck drivers in the US and the United Kingdom, and not every truck driver can drive gas tankers, they need additional qualifications, and it affects everything.
How much fuel do you think that FedEx and UPS use in a week? How many big rigs are moving food around the country every day, or airlines? And big rig trucks transport everything, and gasoline is skyrocketing, and the cost of delivery is climbing, and everything that the trucks carry will go up in price.
This isn’t about equating the increasing price of gas with any governmental party, this is COVID driven and it will take several years to right itself, and things are spread out in the US and they don’t have sufficient public transit everywhere, so Americans must drive a lot more miles than a lot of countries, so need a lot more gas, which gets pretty pricey.
Of course, the situation has been caused because of the COVID pandemic, which has been allowed to spread all over the US, and now they’re just having a meltdown, and I believe it’s going to get a whole lot more expensive, and next will be the lack of consumables.
And inflation due to scarcity is the direct consequence of a post-COVID world, and now there’s not enough stock coming in, with loads of bare shelves in stores, but it’s a great way to keep people from their July 4 celebrations, and is this all about control yet again?