Is A Diesel Shortage Creating Double the Pressure on Short-Staffed Truckers?
The diesel shortage continues making life difficult for the supply chain. Diesel prices are reaching all-time highs over gas & oil, according to the Wall Street Journal, with reporting of depleted stockpiles and limited replenishing refining capacity keeping those prices high. Premiums of diesel over gasoline have hit new records of $1.60 per gallon, considerably higher than last year’s premium of only $0.23 per gallon.
With general conversation around this diesel shortage painting a picture of impending doom, how do truckers on the road perceive this shortage? Are things as dire as they say? Truckers are facing continuing pressures of their own; demand for goods is placing stress on the supply chain, and reports say the amount of professionals ready to hit the road is lacking. Lawmakers continue to call out that the nation’s trucking shortage, which was already evident in 2021 with the ATA reporting the industry was 80,000 drivers short, has still not been solved.
Are the short-staffed truckers that are still on the road facing double the pressure now as diesel prices stay high? Myron Manuirirangi, truck driver and founder of Truckonomics, an organization focused on advocating for fair compensation for long-haul truck drivers, says things may be getting blown out of proportion.
“So how is the looming diesel shortage creating compounding effects in an already stretched trucking industry in the middle of the holiday season? The short answer, it’s not. At best, its effects will go unnoticed and at worst you might see a truck stop or two running low or short of fuel for a day. But that’s only because the fuel needed to restock that store is having to come from a different location.
Now, I did read recently an article that was titled ‘Only 25 Days of Diesel Fuel Left.’ To me, it was a little over the top. It may have been based on an accurate fact, but it was taken out of context for whatever reason. There is a shortage of diesel, but that doesn’t mean an end to the supply in the immediate future. And 25 days of supply simply means inventory is lower than normal, and normal means 35 to 40 days of supply versus 25 days of supply, which is the missing context. Perhaps accurate, but still misleading.”
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