Tanker-Truck Driver Shortage Could Impact Gas Supply This Summer | Inside Edition

Tanker-Truck Driver Shortage Could Impact Gas Supply This Summer

A photo of a tanker truck on the road.
Getty Stock Images

"We've been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it," said Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president of the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), the industry’s trade group.

If you’re out of work or looking for a second hustle tanker truck drivers are needed to deliver the gas to stations who are are in short supply, according to a report. And, as summer nears and more road trips are being planned gas will be an essential commodity.

"We've been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it," said Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president of the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC), the industry’s trade group. "It certainly has grown exponentially."

According to the NTTC, somewhere between 20% to 25% of tank trucks in the fleet are parked heading into this summer due to a shortage of qualified drivers. Compared to 2019, pre-pandemic times, the numbers of idle trucks for that very reason were 10%, CNN reported. 

Drivers left the business a year ago when gasoline demand was halted due to an early pandemic-related shutdown. Typically, driver turnover can run around 50% on an annual basis, but that spiked to a roughly 70% annual rate in April of last year, according to Brad Fulton, director of research and analytics at Stay Metrics, a trucking and recruiting retention firm. 

Many of the drivers that left the truck industry went into industries including construction which was booming over the last year, Fulton said. 

Holly McCormick, vice president in charge of driver recruitment and retention at Groendyke Transport, an Oklahoma tanker company, who runs the workforce committee for NTTC said that riding a tanker truck it strenuous and difficult work that requires special certification including, a commercial driver’s license and weeks of training, ABC News reported. 

To help fill these positions, companies like McCormick are raising the pay of their drivers and companies are raising the rates they charge their customers. "I had to double my recruiting budget to get the same number of drivers," said McCormick.

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