Distribution to ‘suffer’ if diesel pumps run dry

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

Diesel shortage
Diesel shortage

Related tags: Commercial item transport and distribution

Food deliveries would be badly hit if diesel pumps “run dry” as demand soars and the reliance on foreign fuels continues to increase, a road transport association warns.

The warning from the Road Haulage Association (RHA) came after a RAC Foundation (RACF) report found that that there was a growing dependence on imports due to refinery closures. 

RACF director Steve Gooding warned that motorists were being left at the “mercy of the global market” ​as the country looks further afield to import fuel. 

"Even if we are not in conflict with those countries that control the taps, they might simply decide they need more of what they produce for their own markets,"​ RACF director Steve Gooding told BBC News.

‘Rises in forecourt prices’

“If supply is interrupted, then at best we'll see sharp rises in forecourt prices and, at worst, there is the unlikely but real possibility of pumps running dry.”

Diesel facts

  • 45% of UK’s needs met by foreign supplies in 2013 
  • Demand has risen 76% over the past 20 years 

A RHA spokesman warned that an interruption of supply would hit the road transport industry which distributes food supplies by truck.

“With the UK and Europe having closed a number of refineries, we are now forced to look further afield for supplies of diesel,”​ he said.

‘Big effect on supply chain’

“If the supply was to be interrupted and the pumps ran dry it would have a big effect on the entire supply chain.

“Manufacturing plants and general retailers would all suffer - food distribution in particular would be affected due to the fact that many products already have a limited shelf-life.”

But the Freight Transport Association (FTA) dismissed fears that the reliance on imports could threaten the food delivery industry.

A spokeswoman said: “We rely on other economies to import food so importing diesel is no different. We don’t believe there is a danger of the pumps running dry.”

View from RHA

“If the supply was to be interrupted and the pumps ran dry it would have a big effect on the entire supply chain."

  • Spokesman at Road Haulage Association (RHA) 

Related topics: Supply Chain

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