L’estate 2021 could hide a bitter surprise for Americans, who after months of lockdown due to the pandemic want – a bit like all of us – to jump in the car and travel, see new places and enjoy a newfound sense of freedom: according to what is widespread from CNN the summer of 2021 could bring with it one fuel shortage in the United States.
“According to National Tank Truck Carriers, the industrial association that operates in the field of the destruction of fuel by tanker trucks, a figure between 20 and 25% of all the tanker trucks in the country is already stopped in a parking lot and will remain so for the whole summer, due to the scarcity of qualified drivers to drive these trucks. In 2019 to date this percentage was 10%. The shortage of drivers is a problem that the category carries with it years, but the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. Many drivers quit their jobs last year, when global demand for fuel dropped to zero for a few weeks, while others took the opportunity to go to early retirement: the average age of workers in this sector is very high. “
Despite attempts to attract new candidates – increasing salaries, which however remain uncompetitive – the problem cannot be solved in a short time, also due to the long training that tank truck drivers must receive before they can operate independently.
The shortage of available drivers is turning into one very quickly slowdown in fuel deliveries, with the risk of leaving some rural areas dry or with a lower population density; in a country where gasoline has historically cost much less than in Europe, significant increases are expected by the summer, which will bring prices above the threshold of $ 3 per gallon, equal to about 54 euro cents per liter.