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Shortage of tank truck drivers could raise gas prices

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 8:15 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Just as Americans are ready to get out of town, gas prices could spike. It’s not just due to an increase in demand, but a shortage of truck drivers to haul fuel.

Molo Companies sells and transports fuel to convenience stores. COO Glen Hasken says they are struggling to find workers. He hopes the salary can fuel up interest in a tough industry.

“Our drivers on average can make $85,000-plus per year,” he said. “You’re out there 365 days per year, rain, snow sleet no matter what it happens to be, they’re out there driving hoses.”

That’s one reason why Hasken says it’s hard to find workers. The pandemic also dropped the demand for gas.

“Some particular drivers exited the industry because they didn’t have work,” said Hasken. And he doesn’t think those workers will return.

About 25% percent of the country’s fuel tankers are parked heading into this summer, according to the National Tank Truck Carriers, which could cause drivers could pay for it at the gas pump

“Anytime you have a shortage, whether it’s short term or long term, it’s going to increase the price,” said Michael Crum, Ruan Chair in Supply Chain Management. “

Driving a tank truck requires more training than hauling a typical big rig because of the hazardous materials on board. Molo sometimes offers sign-on and safety bonuses. Hasken hopes to find long-term drivers.

“We need young people in this industry that aren’t afraid to work,” he said.

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