Too few delivery drivers could lead to gas shortage in NC :: WRAL.com
Raleigh, NC – According to the AAA of the Carolinas, an estimated 84% of Americans plan to travel in the next six months.
There does not seem to be a shortage of oil or gasoline, but of the tanker drivers needed for the deliveries.
In 2020, when there was less travel, we saw a decrease in oil consumption. Many drivers carrying gasoline and oil stopped and many left the industry.
“Most of the national average are generally truck drivers, with 40-60,000 drivers missing,” said David Bunch of Pope Transport.
Bunch says hiring more drivers isn’t that easy – it requires extensive training.
“You have to have more education, it’s harder to get people into the industry, and a lot of the younger generation aren’t migrating into the trucking industry,” he said.
As more countries slowly open up again, the demand for gas will increase. With fewer drivers, the gasoline cannot get to where it needs to go in time.
Some drivers may end up waiting at the pump.
“There can be times when you get to a location and the driver is away within 30 minutes or an hour or two because the different transport companies don’t have the number of drivers they would have had in years.” Bund said.
While it’s not a widespread problem, it could be more common in places like the Carolinas, near beaches and mountains.
AAA’s Tiffany Wright says you can expect gas prices to rise too.
“I’ll say we’ll see some of the highest gasoline prices we’ve seen in years during Memorial Day trips,” she said. “One big reason for this is that nobody traveled last year. Right now we’re already paying a dollar and 5 cents more per gallon this time than last year.”
Experts advise against panic buying as it would make things worse. Instead, they suggest topping up as often as possible and, if you can, topping up your tank the day before your trip.