By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Gas prices around Southern California are averaging just over $4 per gallon and rising each day for the past week. But things could get worse because the fuel tanker industry is seeing a shortage of drivers.

The shortage is due in large part to the lack of demand for fuel during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. The tanker industry fears this could eventually lead to a shortage in supply at local gas stations.

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The president of Pacific Tank Lines, a tanker company based in the Inland Empire, said his drivers are already pushing their limits to make deliveries.

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“I’d love to say yes to all of these people,” Said Joe Keith of Pacific Tank Lines. “We just only have so many drivers that are equipped and qualified. So those drivers are working extra days. We are putting more and more demand on these guys.”

Industry experts said they have never seen a nationwide driver shortage like this before.

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Becoming trained and certified to drive a tanker truck could take as little as six months. Drivers start off making about $80,000 a year.