The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA), the trade association for the liquid fuel distribution industry says all its distributor members in both the UK and Republic of Ireland have been working hard for the past week in difficult conditions and are urging members of the public not to panic buy.
With heating oil order levels at double the seasonal norm, as many consumers are now either working from home or self-isolating, the heating oil distributors have been working extra hours to deliver heating oil to households in rural communities who are dependent on oil to heat their home and for hot water.
Added to this, the same fuel distributors are also delivering red diesel to the farming community who have now started to work on Spring crops with the dry spell we are experiencing after the very bad storms of earlier in the year. Many construction sites are also still in operation and also require fuel deliveries adding to fuel delivery pressures.
Several of those, many of them small family firms, who are also experiencing staff shortages due to Coronavirus have been going above and beyond to get fuel out to their customers, so people have essential fuel.
Chief Executive of UKIFDA Guy Pulham comments: “We would like to reassure consumers of liquid fuel that as suppliers of essential heating oil and transport fuels, our UKIFDA Full Members are included in the key worker definition.
“COVID 19 has reduced productivity at some member depots with some tanker drivers and call centre staff self-isolating. Members are investing in additional IT to enable admin and call centre staff to work from home. Some Member drivers are also being based at refinery premises to aid deliveries straight from refineries but due to the unprecedented demand tanker drivers are experiencing queuing and long waits at refineries when collecting fuel and this has also added to overheads for many members.
“Their core staff continue to work very hard in the face of unprecedented demand – there really is no need for panic buying – and so it would be in the interests of your local community if consumers were encouraged to follow this advice.
“Many of our members operate the Cold Weather Priority Scheme for those over 75 and some Members are temporarily extending this scheme to offer priority delivery to those in the age bracket 70+ and where possible those who have to self-isolate due to COVID 19. Please check with your UKIFDA member what support they are providing for you.
Consumers can find details of all the local UKIFDA distributor members in both the UK and Ireland who supply their area and then compare prices by visiting https://ukifda.org/find-a-distributor/
27th March 2020