As we are all well aware, the UK is facing a number of different shortages at the moment. From gas and fuel through to car shortages; we look at what is causing these shortages, what needs to be done to resolve them and when it is likely that the shortages will come to an end.
Fuel shortages have been front and centre in the news for the last couple of weeks. A slowdown in deliveries of fuel to petrol stations caused by driver shortages, coupled with increased demand as people stocked up in anticipation of shortages at the pumps has created a difficult few weeks in the UK.
However, there was never an actual shortage of fuel with reports of plenty of fuel at UK refineries. Supply chains need to sort themselves out to resolve the fuel crisis. And luckily it seems that this is now starting to happen. The army have been drafted in to help supplies – driving tankers to those areas worst hit. At the time of writing, it is thought that the situation is stabilising across most of the UK. However, in London and the South East the Petrol Retailer Association (PRA) still report challenges with as many as 20% of sites with no fuel.
And whilst supplies start to return to normal, there is ongoing concern that fuel prices will continue to rise over the coming weeks and months.
We blogged recently about gas supplies being affected across the UK and Europe, with this BBC article highlighting the following reasons for the shortages
- A cold winter across the world, increasing demand for gas and depleting supplies
- A delay to replenishing gas stocks because of maintenance postponed by many gas producer’s during COVID lockdowns
- A fall in electricity generated by wind power due to calmer weather conditions
A knock-on impact of the gas shortage and higher prices has been seen in supplies of CO2 which could affect the food industry. And many households are set to see increased energy bills as wholesale gas prices rise. As are businesses who are not protected by the energy price cap. As businesses face higher energy costs, some of this increase may be passed to customers through higher prices for their goods.
It is not clear when the gas shortages will come to an end. But there is hope that a milder winter could help the situation, and likewise windier conditions. And in recent days there has been news that Russia will be boosting gas supplies to Europe, calming rising wholesale prices.
New car sales have also been affected in recent months. And the situation is thought to be due to a shortage of semi-conductors.
Autocar report vehicles manufacturers are taking a range of actions in the face of the shortages
- Halting production
- Extending lead times for new vehicles
- Removing options from some vehicles to reduce the number of semi-conductors required
Fleet News highlight that registrations of new vans were down significantly in September 2021, likely due to the semi-conductor shortage impacting supply. And are also suggesting that disruption to vehicle supply could have an impact right the way through to 2023.
As a result of delays to new vehicle production, used cars are increasingly in demand and prices are rising. Fleets are also having to operate leased vehicles for longer than originally expected.
Amongst other factors, increasing demand across a wide range of industries for semi-conductors is thought to be a big contributor to the shortages. And the key way to resolve the shortages is to increase production capacity – however as this BBC article reports this will take time and it could be a while before things are resolved.
At Anthony Jones we understand that businesses are facing many challenges at the moment. But don’t see the need to sort your business insurance as one of these or let it take a back seat as you deal with other aspects of running your business. Insurance could be more important than ever to the success of your business. So, get in touch with us at Anthony Jones – we are insurance experts and exist to take care of your insurance needs. For expert advice that you can rely on get in touch with us on 020 8290 9080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.