BP has sought to quell widespread claims by the national press that it is ’rationing’ fuel deliveries due to the truck driver shortage.
ITV reported that BP’s head of UK Retail, Hanna Hofer, told a recent meeting organised by the Cabinet Office, that the company’s ability to transport fuel from refineries to its network of forecourts was being impacted by the ongoing shortage of HGV drivers and that it was important that government understood the “urgency of the situation” which she described as “bad, very bad”.
It quoted Hofer as saying BP has “two thirds of normal forecourt stock levels required for smooth operations” and that level is “declining rapidly”. It said the company was preparing to restrict deliveries “very soon”.
A spokesperson for BP stressed to Forecourt Trader that the company was “prioritising”, rather than “rationing”, a term which is likely to have spread fear among both fuel retailers and motorists alike, and could lead to panic buying.
BP issued the following statement: “We are experiencing some fuel supply issues at some of our retail sites in the UK and unfortunately have therefore seen a handful of sites temporarily close due to a lack of both unleaded and diesel grades.
”These have been caused by some delays in the supply chain which has been impacted by the industry-wide driver shortages across the UK and there are many actions being taken to address the issue. We continue to work with our haulier supplier to minimise any future disruption and to ensure efficient and effective deliveries to serve our customers. We are prioritising deliveries to motorway service areas, major trunk roads and sites with largest demand and seeking to minimise the duration of stock outs.
”We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”