29 October 2020
would the UK look like without fuel logistics?
This year has been
anything but predictable. Alongside most of the world, the UK has faced a set
of unique challenges in 2020, not least new extremes of supply and demand for
the many logistics operations that keep the nation going.
For the UK’s fuel logistics
industry, the need for its continued service has been vital.
It’s enough to get us
thinking about what the country could look like without the work of the fuel
logistics sector. How many critical industries rely on bulk fuel delivery?
We’ve taken a look at just a few.
network of 96 motorway service stations is there to sustain essential travel up and
down the country, including for a wealth of other delivery and logistics
fleets. Service stations have to keep a constant, carefully managed supply of
wholesale fuel in stock in order to keep businesses and consumers on the road.
At a service station,
fuel is the product, so competitive pricing, and speed, safety and reliability
of fuel delivery is crucial. Precise management over stock levels equates to
the healthiest profit margins on a product that’s subject to heavy legislation
and constant market fluctuations, especially in recent months. Bulk fuel
suppliers must provide safe, compliant and accurate
delivery so that service
stations can continue to keep motorways moving.
It could be disastrous
for emergency service vehicles to ever be short on fuel. Under the Civil
Contingencies Act 2004, ambulance, fire and police trusts must keep their own
stocks of fuel in-house as well topping up at consumer forecourts or at
in-house reserve sites through fuel cards. This wholesale ‘bunkered’ fuel, and
its maintenance, means the emergency services can continue to operate even if
local or national fuel supplies are disrupted in some way.
Bunkered fuel is
cheaper and reduces operational downtime through refuelling, whilst forecourts
offer flexibility and negate the need to return to base. Trusts therefore continually
reassess the proportion of each type of fuel they use. Either way, bulk fuel delivery is needed to ensure supplies of bunkered and
forecourt fuel are ready for emergency services at a moment’s notice.
The UK’s farming
sector cannot function without fuel to power agricultural vehicles and
machinery, and a lack of fuel would soon mean shortages in essential crops and
produce. Agricultural vehicles, such as tractors and ploughs, are too big to
refuel at the forecourt, so farmers rely on fuel delivery to come to them, from
ultra-low sulphur diesel and red diesel to ultra-low sulphur petrol and
Many farms also store
their own supplies of fuel in storage tanks for grain heating and drying, as
well as running machinery and vehicles. Bulk fuel operators provide
agricultural businesses with specialist off-road ‘red diesel’ at a lower fuel
tax duty rate, distinguishable from normal white diesel by its distinctive red
another industry that relies heavily on fuel delivery, particularly red diesel.
Since most construction equipment must be refuelled every three to four hours,
many building sites have their own fuel storage compound which must be
regularly resupplied by a bulk fuel provider around the clock, day or night.
Supporting bulk fuel delivery for any
A quick look at just
four sectors that rely on bulk fuel delivery reveals just how integral the
industry is to the UK. However, regardless of the type of operations a bulk
fuel provider caters to, it needs digital support to offer a streamlined and
Our planning and optimisation solutions give
bulk fuel businesses an operation-wide view, for enhanced efficiency,
cost-saving and data insight.