Smaller gas stations struggle with demands after Colonial Pipeline hacked

LaGrange Bureau

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Independently-owned gas stations in LaGrange are scrambling to get fuel after the recent attack on the Colonial Pipeline. They are experiencing shipping delays on smaller shipments than before the attack. The gas stations are also experiencing outbursts from customers, often blaming them for the high prices.

“Before the cyber attack we were getting the gas regular but now that the cyber attack has happened we’re getting it 24 to 48 hours after we’ve run out,” said Cathy Nguyen, Customer Service Sales Representative at the Shell on Vernon St.

Shell orders gas from their wholesale supplier, Allstar, through an online system that automatically measures how much gas is needed and then delivered. The station had not experienced running out of gas prior to the attack. They now have long waiting periods before receiving deliveries.

Nguyen believes the independently-owned gas stations are put on a “back burner” compared to corporately-owned stations like Circle K and Love’s.

BP LaGrange on Lafayette Parkway has also been experiencing a longer wait on delivery trucks and outbursts from customers. Owner Harry Patel said customers have blamed him for the rising prices.

“Some customers think that we raise the price but we are not raising prices. We always look at the market and what we are getting the gas for and it depends on the market. Whatever we get for the price, according to that we set the price, according to the competition,” said Patel.

Patel said he has been receiving smaller deliveries than usual despite what he orders. His gas station has been receiving 3,000 gallons maximum per delivery.

Both gas stations have seen an increase in sales in recent days and neither have been limiting how much customers buy.

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