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The Road Haulage Problem

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PDR
1391090.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:44 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I understand the surge causing the problem, but if it were a problem on the magnitude portrayed by the media you would have been going into stations with less and less availability, you would have been unable to get into stations in the lead up, and stations would have been closing early to ensure they have supplies between deliveries (you donít just get petrol from a petrol station, the shop is full of impulse buys) that hasnít been happening until last Thursday.
So why, all of a sudden are people desperate to fill up?


Because this isn't true (because you don't grasp the non-linearity of the system):

barbados wrote:
but if it were a problem on the magnitude portrayed by the media you would have been going into stations with less and less availability, you would have been unable to get into stations in the lead up, and stations would have been closing early to ensure they have supplies between deliveries (you donít just get petrol from a petrol station, the shop is full of impulse buys) that hasnít been happening until last Thursday.


In respect to to non-fuel shops we have indeed been seeing progressively-emptying shelves in supermarkets for several weeks, but they don't have quite the same system behaviour because people don't have a fixed capacity for provisions in the same way that they do for fuel (that's the inelastic behaviour which creates the cusp).

PDR

 
CB27
1391091.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:59 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
A lot of people have discovered that their jobs can be done from home with a reliable internet connection most of the time.

As someone who has had oversight of several hundred people from various departments and positions working from home during the past two years I can tell you that there's a huge difference between jobs that can be done from home, people who are able to work from home, and people who are capable of working from home.

I don't know what the percentages are for jobs that can be carried out remotely, but there are a significant number of people who found it difficult to work from home, either from lack of decent connection, decent area to work (we shipped out hundreds of chairs and screens to avoid people getting back and vision problems), or ins some cases where other people in their household were also working from home and it was difficult to concentrate in such closed spaces.

However, one thing that was noticeable to me, and I would say it was a decent proportion of people involved, is that there are many people who are not capable of working from home because they're not disciplined enough to work unsupervised or because of the availability of TV and other distractions nearby.

 
suze
1391098.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:33 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
All that is needed is for people to stop thinking we are living off fumes and normality will resume.


The problem here is that nobody believes a word the government says, and that is entirely the government's own fault.

The government's increasingly shrill declarations that there is no petrol shortage make the population increasingly sure that there is, quite simply because most things this government says are untrue.

That is the scum (not my word) that we have for a government, but for some reason you insist on making excuses for it as surely as if it were part of your family.

 
barbados
1391101.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:49 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
barbados wrote:
I understand the surge causing the problem, but if it were a problem on the magnitude portrayed by the media you would have been going into stations with less and less availability, you would have been unable to get into stations in the lead up, and stations would have been closing early to ensure they have supplies between deliveries (you donít just get petrol from a petrol station, the shop is full of impulse buys) that hasnít been happening until last Thursday.
So why, all of a sudden are people desperate to fill up?


Because this isn't true (because you don't grasp the non-linearity of the system):

barbados wrote:
but if it were a problem on the magnitude portrayed by the media you would have been going into stations with less and less availability, you would have been unable to get into stations in the lead up, and stations would have been closing early to ensure they have supplies between deliveries (you donít just get petrol from a petrol station, the shop is full of impulse buys) that hasnít been happening until last Thursday.


In respect to to non-fuel shops we have indeed been seeing progressively-emptying shelves in supermarkets for several weeks, but they don't have quite the same system behaviour because people don't have a fixed capacity for provisions in the same way that they do for fuel (that's the inelastic behaviour which creates the cusp).

PDR

Iím on quarter of a tank so thought it prudent to stop if and top upÖ.
Two petrol stations attempted, both told me the same thing, they had their usual delivery this morning, and they have now run out. They will be getting an additional delivery tomorrow but they canít confirm what time because it is an additional delivery.
Not a good sign for the problem being the supply rather than people being stupid and inciting panic in the media.

 
barbados
1391102.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:58 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
Jenny wrote:
A lot of people have discovered that their jobs can be done from home with a reliable internet connection most of the time.

As someone who has had oversight of several hundred people from various departments and positions working from home during the past two years I can tell you that there's a huge difference between jobs that can be done from home, people who are able to work from home, and people who are capable of working from home.

I don't know what the percentages are for jobs that can be carried out remotely, but there are a significant number of people who found it difficult to work from home, either from lack of decent connection, decent area to work (we shipped out hundreds of chairs and screens to avoid people getting back and vision problems), or ins some cases where other people in their household were also working from home and it was difficult to concentrate in such closed spaces.

However, one thing that was noticeable to me, and I would say it was a decent proportion of people involved, is that there are many people who are not capable of working from home because they're not disciplined enough to work unsupervised or because of the availability of TV and other distractions nearby.

The trouble with working from home is you miss out on the most important part of the working day, and that is the time spent around the water cooler/ coffee machine.

 
crissdee
1391115.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:41 pm Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
In your mid fifties, what would cause you more worry? Not having enough money to go to the pub tonight, or not being able to go to the pub because the walk knackers you out?


Absolutely, and without question, the former. In fact, I can't remember a time in my life where availability of moolah was NOT the defining problem.

 
barbados
1391124.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:04 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
barbados wrote:
All that is needed is for people to stop thinking we are living off fumes and normality will resume.


The problem here is that nobody believes a word the government says, and that is entirely the government's own fault.

The government's increasingly shrill declarations that there is no petrol shortage make the population increasingly sure that there is, quite simply because most things this government says are untrue.

That is the scum (not my word) that we have for a government, but for some reason you insist on making excuses for it as surely as if it were part of your family.

The problem here is 100% media driven.
There is not a shortage in supply, there is stupidity in demand.
Quote:
Oil 4 Wales director, Colin Owens, said his garage in Maesteg in South Wales usually sold between 20,000 and 30,000 litres of fuel per day, but had gone through 100,000 litres in the last 24 hours.

That is 5 days worth of fuel in one day - that is where the problem actually is.
People are just stupid, and they believe all the crap they are told.
It was the same with bog rolls at the start of the pandemic.

 
Alexander Howard
1391126.  Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:28 pm Reply with quote

They say the Army will be called in. I expect they mean that the Army will to take fuel to the pumps. It might be more constructive to use heavy armour to push back those queuing unnecessarily (which, incidentally, is blocking fuel tankers from getting to their destinations).

I say this with the smug satisfaction of having filled up before the panic began and having little need of the car day to day.

 
CB27
1391164.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:04 am Reply with quote

I love the fact that people are blaming the media and the Government (both of whom bear some responsibility), but in truth businesses and the public also share responsibility.

From a business side, many of them just let everyone panic buy and cashed in for short term, without thought of controlling access and supplies.

From a public side, not everyone panicked. Despite all the misleading info, there is plenty of easily available details under the headlines to allow people to stay calm, but they choose to ignore them. One of my neighbours complained yesterday that he nearly ran out of petrol before he was able to fill up, despite having half a tank yesterday morning. Guess what he spent doing yesterday morning? He wasted half a tank of petrol driving around trying to find petrol and moving slowly in a queue with the engine running - as did thousands, maybe millions of others.

 
barbados
1391167.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 6:29 am Reply with quote

People just do silly things without thinking. The number of people sharing locations where deliveries are made thinking they are helping when all they are doing is adding fuel to the fire.
Just behave normally and everything will be fine. As for who is at fault? the media told everyone last Thursday evening there would be shortages, and the queues began Thursday night.
Itís a remarkable coincidence those two events coincided.

 
dr.bob
1391175.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:45 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
The problem here is 100% media driven.
There is not a shortage in supply, there is stupidity in demand.


The first I heard about the current crisis was when BP and Esso were forced to close a small number of their sites due to, according to them, a shortage of lorry drivers.

Were those site closures caused by a shortage in supply or stupidity in demand?

 
barbados
1391180.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 7:56 am Reply with quote

Good question, is it not just a classic self fulfilling prophecy though?

Compare that to the petrol stations that had to temporarily close in July, and how that was reported, you could ask yourself what went wrong this time round.

 
dr.bob
1391187.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:19 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
Good question


Care to give an answer then?

If, as you say, there is not a shortage in supply, why did BP and Esso have to close some garages which was then reported by the media and resulted in the panic buying we're seeing now?

 
barbados
1391193.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:40 am Reply with quote

Like I said, they also had to close some garages in July - without the panic.
Perhaps the way the media reported this latest event may have led to the stupidity in demand.
Deliveries are happening every day, the same as before - the problem in at least one location was they had sold a weekís supply of petrol in one day - the two garages I visited yesterday to fill up both reported they had a delivery in the morning, but had sold out during the day and an additional delivery had been organised for today, does that suggest there is such a shortage in drivers that would warrant such a panic?

 
Alexander Howard
1391195.  Tue Sep 28, 2021 8:42 am Reply with quote

There is no shortage of fuel. It all works well if drivers buy petrol at the same rate as it is supplied, which is a pretty stable amount every day or month that garages can plan for.

If however drivers suddenly want several times more petrol than on a normal day, the system cannot supply them.

There were five petrol stations which did not get their deliveries in time, because of the driver shortage - just five, amongst thousands. It is quite normal for a petrol station to close temporarily for this reason, but in normal times it goes unnoticed, and a day later all is back to normal.

If the newspapers had not mentioned it, reckoning it to be a 'dog bites man' story, this weekend would have been normal. However this headline caused panic and pushed demand way above the average so that the supply ran out.

It's like a run on a bank: a bank may be perfectly stable and solvent, but if someone starts a false rumour that the bank is about to collapse, customers rush to withdraw their money, and then the bank is in trouble.

Now, there is a limit to the amount of petrol any car can hold, and are the amount if driving is not going up. Therefore it is logical that fuel consumption over the whole month is not actually going up, and that demand will subside as quickly as it spiked.

 

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