Military personnel to drive tankers in UK, fear of empty shelves around Christmas

The United Kingdom is deploying military personnel in the coming days to address the ongoing supply problems of service stations.

Economic Affairs Minister Kwarteng says there are about 150 military personnel ready to drive tankers. Earlier today, he tweeted that the country also deploys the so-called reserve tanker fleet. Thats a fleet of eighty tankers that the UK has at hand for emergencies.

The supply problems affecting other sectors are caused by a shortage of around 100,000 truck drivers.

The UK government is finally taking steps today to solve the fuel problems after spending days hoping they would pass by itself. For example, the government has previously refused to prioritize petrol stations to people with vital professions, such as doctors and nurses.

Driver deficit

Prime Minister Johnson insisted on the British not to hoard. That would aggravate the problems. But even today there were long lines in front of the petrol stations in the morning. It was particularly crowded around London. As a result, some petrol stations came out of fuel again.

The shortage of truck drivers has several causes such as the corona pandemic, the ageing workforce and the exodus of foreign workers following Britains departure from the European Union last year.

These truck drivers in Romania are considering working in the UK:

Fear of Christmas problems

Minister Kwarteng has called “difficult” in recent days. He announced that the gas stations are now being supplied again. That confirms the largest UK petrol station organization PRA. Some 27 percent of the members said they were out of fuel today. That was 90 percent on Monday.

Other sectors are also the brunt of the lack of truckers. For example, a lot of racks in supermarkets were empty recently and fast food chain McDonalds was suddenly without milkshakes.

To deal with the problems, the UK Government issued 10,500 temporary visas for foreign workers. The British Chamber of Commerce calls this measure a drop on a glowing plate.

The British are already afraid of problems around Christmas, if there are plenty of shops, supermarkets and hospitality to be supplied. Minister Kwarteng said “nothing to guarantee” when it comes to the holiday season. “But what I can say is that the situation is stabilizing now.”