For all the Denver-area drivers who pulled up to the gas station in recent weeks only to see a bag over the pump, you’re not alone.
As businesses and travelers return to pre-pandemic travel routines, the short supply of fuel truckers has caused a slight hiccup in getting gas to their end destinations.
“There’s plenty of refined product in the system,” said Skyler McKinley, spokesperson for AAA Colorado. “There is just a labor shortage.”
When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, gas demand fell off a cliff, McKinley said. As a result, truck drivers were left without work and had to go elsewhere to get a paycheck.
But with fuel demand going back up, there’s been a lag in getting the number of truck drivers necessary to meet the demand.
“The entire industry shut down overnight,” McKinley said. “It takes longer to build it back up now that it’s back online.”
Fuel supply is not in dire straights, McKinley stressed, so people need not be alarmed. Drivers may just need to go to a different gas station than they’re used to.
“The worst thing people can do is going to buy gas that they don’t need,” he said. “Just buy gas when you need it. These supply chain problems are being worked out as we speak.”
Gas stations in southern Colorado and a few select parts of Denver suffered outages last weekend — the combination of pipeline work and the labor shortage.
Fuel haulers are losing workers to other trucking jobs that carry safer cargo, Bloomberg reported, noting that hauling gasoline also requires extra certification that makes it more difficult to enter the industry.
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