As the supply chain industry grapples with the fuel supply issues, Kevin Richardson, CEO at CILT says while there is an ongoing widespread issue of driver shortages, the fuel supply problem is largely caused by a change in consumer behaviour and is likely to subside.
Futhermore, the government has announced measures to help ease supply chain pressures and spikes in localised demand for fuel, including the approval to put on standby a pool of military drivers and extension to specific HGV licences.
British Army tanker drivers will be brought to a state of readiness in order to be deployed if required to deliver fuel to where it is needed most and providing further reassurance that fuel supplies remain strong.
The military drivers will now receive specialised training before deploying, enabling them to seamlessly work with industry to address the supply chain pressures.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “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 these as a matter of priority.
“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has authorised an extension to ADR driver licences, which allow drivers to transport goods, such as fuel.
The measure will apply to licences expiring between 27 September 2021 and 31 December 2021, and extend their validity until 31 January 2022.
This will provide immediate relief to the shortage of fuel drivers by permitting affected drivers to maximise their available capacity instead of being taken out of circulation for refresher training purposes.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Even though the current network of tanker drivers is capable of delivering all the fuel we need – we have taken the additional step of asking the army to help plug the gap, whilst new HGV drivers come on stream thanks to all the other measures we’ve already taken.
“Extending ADR licences will further help ease any pressures on fuel drivers by removing the need for refresher training courses and ensuring they can keep providing their vital service on our roads.”