I have fuel hauling experience and have ownership shares in a company.
I understand how OPIS pricing and delivery mark ups work.
I know how profitable it is selling fuel direct to stations or even mobile fleet fueling.
I just don't understand how to attract customers. Like forgive me for not understanding something that may seem so simple. Allow me to explain further:
I know when it comes to gas stations all of them are on a contractual bases. Its very hard to get past the gate keepers to actually speak to someone with decision making authority to let me know when the contract is up, etc. Even at times you can't find a direct line to the owner or owners.
Also with mobile fleet fueling, its nearly impossible to get past the office staff or manager to ask the basic questions to demonstrate how having their fuel delivered and dispensed into their assets can save them money. ( Monthly gallons used, current wages, etc. )
We are set up with most of the major suppliers & racks to pull the fuel.
But it doesn't do any good when you cant sell to anyone.
Yes; we are registered hazmat haulers, have hazmat insurance, have the ability to get multi-compartment tanks, etc.
Question about being a jobber
For what it's worth -- many times, when delivering fuel to "mom-n-pop" stores, I have found myself working with the decision-maker directly.
Sometimes -- the store owner has stood there, & watch me offload the fuel (& once -- said owner watched me for the ENTIRE STOP!! ).
Thus -- you apparently are talking about larger customers than that.
Fuel is basically a commodity product; so you can basically offer a better price, better service...or some combination of the two. That's pretty much it.
In my time as a fuel driver -- I have learned that fuel delivery is an extremely competitive business; contacts are sometimes won or lost over mere pennies. Those pennies add up fast over the course of a year.
You don't say where you're located -- or how big your "target market" really is....so it's kinda tough to make more specific suggestions/comments beyond that.
You also want stores where the owner makes a consistent, conscientious effort to maintain their tanks & related equipment.
If your drivers can't make a safe delivery -- because your customer can't/won't keep up their equipment -- then (as I see it), what's the point?
In this regard -- I've had consistently bad experiences with Circle K stores.
-- LLast edited: Aug 1, 2023
singlescrewshaker Thanks this.
I would start off with the smaller stores/customers -- those are generally much easier to get in front of/find the decision-maker(s).
Also: how sharp is your dispatch team? A dispatch dept that lets a store run dry can be the "kiss of death" -- after you've secured a hard-won customer.
Are going to be just a carrier, or supplier, or both?
Back in the day, when purchasing from a branded supplier and the rack, that load was payable in 10 days. Auto-withdrawal from checking account was mandatory, with a 1million dollar line of credit.
This brings back memories of when I worked for the corporate jet hangar and would order bulk Jet A and 100LL. We had two suppliers and the owners told me to get the best price I could. So I'd call one, and get a price for 8000 gal delivered. Then I'd call the other. Whichever was higher I'd tell that the other company has you beat, can you do such and such a price? They usually said yes. I said ok, I'll get back with you. Then I'd call the now higher price company and tell them they were beat, and I'd go back and for sometimes all day like this.
The most I brought the price down was like 22 cents per gallon for Jet A. Nothing like spending a day trying to save billionaires thousands of dollars.Last edited: Nov 22, 2023 at 1:25 PM