Canberra service stations are running out of gas as multiple Cootes Transport trucks remain off-road, disrupting deliveries throughout the ACT and New South Wales.
Caltex, BP and Shell stations have all been affected, forcing motorists to search wider to get their LPG top up.
No other forms of petrol or diesel are impacted.
Caltex Australia spokesman Sam Collyer said at 5.30pm Thursday seven of the 10 Caltex and Caltex Woolworth branded stores in the ACT were out of LPG.
“We’re not expecting a massive improvement in the next 24 hours, but I would hope beyond that point that it would start to get better,” Mr Collyer said.
He said about 25 per cent to 30 per cent of Caltex-supplied outlets in NSW had run out, with supplies beginning to be affected by truck shortages earlier this week.
“That number has moved around a bit, because some are being supplied and some are selling out,” Mr Collyer said.
Mr Collyer said Cootes delivered all Caltex LPG supplies in the ACT and NSW, with only one of five trucks being used on Thursday. Caltex also supplies another independent outlet.
The supply delays connected with Cootes Transport - the biggest fuel transport firm in the country – follow the grounding of one of their LPG tankers after a pump seal leak was detected in NSW two weeks ago.
Hazmat temporarily fixed the leak and ordered the driver to go to Taree to have it permanently fixed, but the same truck was detected unrepaired in the same area the next day.
Another LPG tanker had a suspected gas leak last week, but McAleese Group - Cootes’ parent company - said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on December 6 the tanker was empty.
Mr Collyer said it was not known when the supplies would be back to normal.
“It’s really dependent on when those trucks are being assessed to be back online.”
Caltex Australia said in a statement on Wednesday it anticipated outages of LPG at Caltex-supplied retail sites would continue “over the coming days”.
BP Australia spokesman Jamie Jardine said it was doing everything it could to manage the situation, but intermittent shortages would continue indefinitely.
“We’re doing everything we can to maintain supply, but until trucks return we are going to struggle to meet supply,” Mr Jardine said.
“It will last as long as it lasts… there’s nothing the clients can do about this – it has to be resolved by the trucking company and the regulator.”
Mr Jardine refused to name the number or location of Canberra sites where the liquefied petroleum gas had run out, concerned about a rush on remaining outlets.
It is understood less than a quarter of Shell sites in the ACT are affected.
Last week NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay warned Cootes of the risk its entire fleet could be taken off the road.
"I am absolutely astonished we continue to uncover serious defects in the Cootes Transport petrol and gas tanker fleet," Mr Gay said.
"Despite assurances from the company's board of directors and management they were on top of compliance issues within their tanker fleet, I'm quickly losing patience.
"The short story is, if they don't shape up, we will have no choice but to ground the Cootes fuel tanker fleet in NSW.
McAleese Group said in its statement Cootes had commissioned an independent third party investigation into the circumstances around the pump seal leak incident.
The company said it has taken a number of measures across its business in response to the fuel tanker accident in October which killed two people.
Authorities found a ''number of significant maintenance defects'' during a first round of inspections after the crash. It led to about a third of Cootes' fleet in NSW being sent to workshops because of major defects.