Scaling up fuel storage capacity for a smoother ride on costs.
Whilst most road transport operators recognise the benefits of fuel usage monitoring, the larger enterprises are now turning their attention to purchasing economies. Costs can be reduced by increasing depot fuel storage capacity to make room for full tanker loads. Additional capacity also enables buyers to take advantage of price reductions, or conversely, to ride out any short-term increases.
Stephen Sanderson Transport Limited has installed a 90K litres capacity, multiple product, storage tank at its HQ depot in Market Harborough. This replaces a 45K litres capacity tank which has been cleaned and relocated to the company’s warehouse facilities in Corby.
The new tank has been supplied by Ledbury Welding & Engineering as a complete Derv Pack, tailored to meet Sanderson’s operational requirements. This included the provision of stock management instrumentation, hose reels and dispensers for diesel, gas oil, engine oil and Adblue. Ledbury also handled the refurbishment and relocation of the existing tank.
“We are delighted that Sanderson Transport has again selected a Ledbury tank,” says LWE Business Development Manager, Rob Parsons. “This new project exemplifies the flexibility of using above ground storage. After 13 years in service, the existing tank continues to be an asset to the firm.”
Sanderson’s installed its first depot fuelling facilities following the disruption caused by fuel strikes after the millennium. As fuel prices continued to increase, new vehicles were specified with long range (800 litres) fuel tanks to avoid the need for external fuelling.
Currently fuel usage is running at around 36K litres a week – equivalent to a full tanker load.
“Apart from the advantage of having some form of buffer provision, bulk purchasing ensures we have absolute control over our fuel costs. We want to shop around for best prices,” explains Managing Director, Stephen Sanderson. Further increasing our storage capacity also offers us another important advantage. Since fuel prices tend to fluctuate, we can now afford to defer purchase orders until better prices are available.
For example, we have been able to ride out a short-term price increase of up to 4 pence a litre over three weeks in April. Potentially this could have resulted in an increase of over £2,000 across the last two tanker deliveries. Clearly, having sufficient stock is key to this strategy. Making it happen also requires accurate stock management and visibility of fuel usage from our back-office fuel management procedures.”
Painted blue to match the company vehicles, the fuelling point is installed at the entrance to the company’s yard. At 19 meters long, the Ledbury tank makes it an impressive installation, often commented on by visitors. All fuelling requirements are incorporated with standard flow dispensers for cars and vans and high flow pumps for the HGVs. Gas oil is also available for material handling plant and the truck mounted Moffett fork lift trucks.
Founded by Stephen in 1973 and now a family business, Sanderson Transport has grown into a leading UK haulage distribution company employing 100 people. Supporting its warehouse facilities, the firm operates a fleet of 65 commercial vehicles, ranging from local delivery vans to rigid and articulated HGVs. Important elements of the business are its Palletline ‘hub and spoke’ operations and several key account distribution services.
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