It’s hard to work out exactly what’s going on, but the message seems to be ‘don’t panic, yet, about AdBlue’. There seems to be a distinct lack of hard facts and a lot of supposition going around.
The one thing we can be certain of is that there is something going on around the supply of AdBlue and the messaging is both confusing and concerning. There are reports of major price rises in AdBlue across Europe and a spate of panic buying simply making things worse.
Here in Australia, both NatRoad and the Australian Trucking Association have sat down, with others and with government to try and get some cold hard facts about the situation, before it gets out of hand.
The answer was a request not to panic, but no facts were offered to back up that assertion and to calm the nerves of thousands of businesses, who are having nightmares about their trucks derating on the road and getting stuck without a supply of AdBlue.
The Heavy Vehicle Industry Association was also involved in the discussions and is urging caution on all sides, regretting the decision by some to go public about the possibilities of a shortage, preferring to work behind the scenes and work towards a rational outcome to the benefit of all.
This is all part of the dilemma facing everyone involved when there is a possibility of panic buying. There will not be a panic if those who buy adblue are unaware there is a shortage. This may work well over the short term and give those involved time to come up with a solution which will calm the situation down.
On the other hand if the parties decided to keep silent about concerns, hoping the situation sorts itself out before anyone gets an idea of whats’ going on, then the whole secret squirrel, conspiracy theory worry kicks in. This undermines confidence immediately, causes confusion, gives disrupters the oxygen of publicity. It doesn’t end well.
What we really needed was all of those parties concerned to work together and trust each other enough to keep a lid on things until the situation became calm. The trucking industry does need to be assured that there will be sufficient stocks available to keep the wheels of industry moving, and it hasn’t been.
The trucking industry does not have a lot of trust in government these days, in the same way as the public has become distrustful. The other side of the argument clearly didn’t trust the trucking industry enough to be told the absolute truth, but to keep it under their hats.
What we have here is yet another example of how the trucking industry is not respected by government for its vital role in the economy, and how that simply engenders hostility and mistrust around a vital part of the economy.