A view of a sign at a petrol station, in Bracknell England, Sunday Sept. 26, 2021. In a U-turn, Britain says it will issue thousands of emergency visas to foreign truck drivers to help fix supply-chain problems that have caused empty supermarket shelves, long lines at gas stations and shuttered petrol pumps. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)
LONDON (AP) — Thousands of British gas stations ran dry Sunday, an industry group said, as motorists scrambled to fill up amid a supply disruption due to a shortage of truck drivers.
The Petrol Retailers Association, which represents almost 5,500 independent outlets, said about two-thirds of its members were reporting that they had sold out their fuel, with the rest “partly dry and running out soon.”
Association chairman Brian Madderson said the shortages were the result of “panic buying, pure and simple.”
“There is plenty of fuel in this country, but it is in the wrong place for the motorists,” he told the BBC. “It is still in the terminals and the refineries.”
Long lines of vehicles formed at many gas stations over the weekend, and tempers frayed as some drivers waited for hours. Police were called to one London gas station Sunday after a scuffle broke out. Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of assault.
The haulage industry says the U.K. is short tens of thousands of truckers, due to a perfect storm of factors including the coronavirus pandemic, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers following Britain’s Brexit departure from the European Union last year.
Several countries, including the United States and Germany, also are experiencing a shortage of truck drivers. The problem has been especially visible in Britain, where it has contributed to empty supermarket shelves and shuttered gas pumps.
After weeks of mounting pressure, the U.K.'s Conservative government announced Saturday that it will issue thousands of emergency visas to foreign truck drivers to help prevent a Christmas without turkey or toys for many British families. The government said it would issue 5,000 three-month visas for truck drivers starting in October, and another 5,500 for poultry workers.
Industry groups welcomed the new visa plan, although the British Retail Consortium said it was “too little, too late.”
Ruby McGregor-Smith, president of the Confederation of British Industry, said the announcement was “the equivalent of throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire.” 7 Stocks to Buy That Will Benefit From Inflation
There are two narratives that are getting conflated when it comes to inflation. The first is whether or not inflation is occurring. And the second is whether inflation will get out of control.
To the first point, the clear answer is absolutely. There are price increases in everything from commodities to semiconductor chips. And even though lumber prices have gone down it’s a good bet that many consumers will put off their deck projects for another day.
And, of course, inflation numbers tend to strip out gas and groceries – but those are precisely the areas where consumers feel inflation the most. Inflation is real.
But is this just “transitory” as many analysts and the Fed itself claim? Or is it only the beginning of something much worse? The answer to those questions is probably above our pay grade.
As an investor, the inflation narrative only changes where you allocate your investment dollars. And for the most part, you’re probably only looking at a small percentage of your portfolio.
However, the first rule of investing is to not lose money so it’s important to identify companies that can provide a hedge against inflation – transitory or otherwise.
That’s the focus of this special presentation. Right now there are many strong companies that benefit when inflation is on the rise.
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