• Lee Gueller

Fuel Shortage 2021: What Have We Learned?



Over the past couple of weeks, the UK has gone into another state of mass panic - we know, we’re not shocked anymore either. The recent “fuel shortage” has left motorists worrying whether they’re going to have enough petrol or diesel to carry on living their life. Causing them to flock to their nearest fill-up point and stock up.


We’ve seen the return of panic-buying, similar to the toilet roll crisis at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased traffic, queuing for miles and selfish motorists are just some of the repercussions that we’ve experienced over the past fortnight. So, this post will take an in-depth look into the fuel shortage and explain what we’ve learned.


We’ll cover:

  • What is the Fuel Shortage?

  • Is the Fuel Shortage Improving?

  • What is the Government Doing to Counteract the Shortage?

  • Potential Further Impacts of the HGV Driver Shortage

  • Red Rocket Couriers: Forever Reliable


What is the Fuel Shortage?


Without stating the obvious too much, Britons have been panicking that our petrol stations are facing a lack of fuel. Late September, BP announced that they were going to have to close a handful of their petrol stations - however, it’s not due to having no fuel, it’s due to the ongoing HGV driver crisis and not being able to get the fuel delivered.


When the news broke out about a potential fuel shortage, the nation jumped in their cars and headed for the nearest petrol station. From people irrationally filling up five or more jerry cans - on top of their full tank of fuel - to people fighting with other motorists on the forecourt, we’ve seen a wide range of scenes.


People were worried about getting to work, dropping the kids off at school and impactful disruption to their everyday lives. Therefore, they were getting in there before the fuel “ran out.”


Is the Fuel Shortage Improving?


A couple of weeks down the line, we’re now seeing improvements throughout the country. However, in the worst-hit areas, these changes are only very marginal progress. The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) have confirmed that the hardest-hit areas are still seeing forecourts closed and very disrupted distribution.


In fact, in London, one in five petrol stations are still closed. While that might not seem a lot, even closing somebody’s local petrol station can cause mass disruption. Therefore, the people affected have to travel further afield to get their fuel, putting more cars on the road and increasing congestion.


Not to mention making other petrol stations busier too. Elsewhere in the UK, just eight percent of stations were out of fuel. Which is slowly improving as the Government increases measures and efforts to help the industry out.


What is the Government Doing to Counteract the Shortage?


As the HGV driver shortage is the main contributing factor to the disruption, the Government is introducing measures to try and ease any strain. About 200 servicemen and women from the Army and the RAF have been drafted in to help deliver fuel to forecourts. Of course, they’ve received the relevant training to carry deliveries out successfully.


Around 5000 overseas lorry drivers have been granted temporary visas that allow them to come and help aid the shortage. Of course, the more lorry drivers that we have available, the more fuel can be transported and the quicker that the shortage will die down.


The Government has further extended these visas, that way, we’ll be protected from a similar shortage happening again in the future. Also, we’ll see the process to gain a HGV licence and qualification speed up. With the pandemic, the industry has suffered from a lot of drivers not being able to gain the relevant qualifications and training.


Potential Further Impacts of the HGV Driver Shortage


Reduced Supply of Necessities


As we’ve seen with fuel shortage, due to the lack of HGV drivers, businesses can’t get their goods from one place to another as easily. And that’s no coincidence either - and fuel won’t be the last shortage if the number of drivers doesn’t increase. Supermarkets are already being affected by the shortage - and that’s something that we can’t afford to be more severe.



Should supermarkets have a shortage of stock, we won’t be able to access our necessities as easily. From there, this could leave a lot of families and households to go without - quite simply, nobody should ever be left in that position. However, it’s a possibility should the HGV driver crisis not repair itself.


Increased Cost of Living


During the fuel shortage, we’ve seen fuel prices reach an eight-year high - that’s due to supply levels being low and demand levels reaching new heights. Should there be a widespread lack of supply across all businesses, we’re going to see prices and the general cost of living start to rise.


Using the example stated above, should the supermarkets fail to receive adequate supply levels, we’re going to see the cost of our weekly shop increasing. Therefore, the longer the HGV crisis goes on, the bigger dent our disposable income is going to feel each month - not ideal, we know.


Red Rocket Couriers: Forever Reliable


A lot of people and businesses are worried about their deliveries - and that’s only natural. For a lot of people, getting £30 worth of petrol has been a struggle, never mind courier companies that rely on fuel for their smooth operation. However, with Red Rocket Couriers, you needn’t worry about our reliability.


Throughout the fuel shortage (and beyond) you can rely on us to continue to offer our excellent service. A lot of businesses are adapting their operations, for example, longer delivery times are becoming standard. With that being said, our same-day courier service is still in place and is still leading the way in the industry.


So, whether you need a small document or a large load collecting and delivering, you needn’t look any further. At Red Rocket Couriers, we promise quality - and that’s exactly what you get. We care about your business - and that’s what separates us from some of the others in the industry.


Get in Touch to Find Out More!


As always, no consignment is too small. We’re experts in working within a vast array of industries - and working with a wide range of load types too. That way, you can be confident that you’re instilling your trust in a courier company that’s right for you. Long gone are the days where you’re worried about sending items right until they arrive safely.


So, to find out more about how we can help you and meet your needs and requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our expert team is always on hand to answer any questions you may have - plus, alleviate any pre-consignment worries. We look forward to hearing from you!


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