The gasoline shortage that has caused long lines at filling stations in parts of the Southeastern United States has had only minor impact on the LBM supply chain, dealers and vendors report.

A spot-check by ProSales of several dozen dealers, distributors and vendors found most reporting they haven't been hurt by the shortage of regular gasoline, which was triggered by the temporary shutdown of refineries as a result of Hurricane Ike and then exacerbated by panic buying by drivers. Diesel fuel supplies generally weren't a problem. Today's Atlanta Journal-Constitutionquoted a AAA official as saying the shortage is likely to last another two weeks.

Like several other dealers, Ted Aulds, of Fakes and Hooker in Lebanon, Tenn., said his company filled its tanks before Ike hit. "That gave us about three weeks' fuel to run on," he says. "And we did a better job of combining deliveries."

"The main concern for us has been how the shortage has affected our employees," says Parrish M. Stapleton, marketing manager of Sunbelt Racks, Alpharetta, Ga. "Most of our employees have about a 25-30 mile commute to and from home. Most gas stations around here have had no gas. When a station gets a fuel delivery, there is a mad dash to fill up. Long lines, much higher prices, and not knowing if you will be able to find gas before you run have been our main problem."

"We have a 2,000-gallon tank on site and are not running as many deliveries as usual so we can allocate ourselves a bit," says Andrew Brown, sales manager of Brown Lumber & Building Supply, Columbiana, Ala. "Due to softening market conditions, we are looking at cutting deliveries off past 3 p.m. to keep our work overtime and expenses to a minimum."

"We have had only moderate difficulty," reports Thomas Hall, CEO, Blake Builders Supply, Griffin, Ga. "We found an additional source just a couple of miles from the yard. Our drivers have been instructed to fill up as they can when on their way back to the yard."