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Blog February 2024

Top 5 sustainable fuel distribution strategies

How to capture value while promoting environmental responsibility

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Overview

Fuel distribution – a lifeline of our modern society – is undergoing a remarkable transformation. The journey from the extraction of raw resources to the moment we fill up our tanks or power our industries encompass a range of opportunities and challenges for sustainable practices.

To address climate change and the pressing need to reduce our carbon emissions, the fuel distribution sector is actively investigating inventive approaches. These approaches must balance the escalating demands for energy while mitigating the environmental consequences. Embracing sustainable fuel distribution transcends a moral obligation; it emerges as a savvy business strategy, presenting opportunities for heightened operational efficiency, lower operating costs, and a more eco-conscious future.

Strategies can not only promote environmental responsibility but also hold the key to capturing value. And to capture value, you first have to capture data. This involves embracing technologies that will serve as your roadmap towards a more sustainable, resilient, and profitable future.

1. Optimising your logistics

Optimising logistics involves tapping into technologies. This is not merely a process improvement endeavour; it's a strategic approach that simultaneously creates value and enhances sustainability within businesses and supply chains. By meticulously fine-tuning the management of goods, information, and resources, organisations can streamline operations, reduce costs, and minimise environmental impact.

Cloud-based industry-specific software can collect data at every stage of the fuel distribution process, including routes, deliveries, inventory levels, fuel consumption, and driver performance. This data collection enables accurate tracking and reporting of various aspects of the distribution operation. It ensures that the quantity of fuel loaded matches what is delivered, minimising discrepancies.

By collecting and analysing this data, companies can spot areas for improving efficiencies. The more efficient your operations, the less fuel consumed, and emissions generated – and the more companies save on operating costs. The right software for fuel distribution delivers:

Resource scheduling: Resource scheduling and route planning are performed simultaneously. The system considers driver and vehicle availability based on their qualifications, working hours, capacity, and geographical allocation. This efficient approach simplifies the allocation of resources to orders, providing the option for automated or manual assignment, offering flexibility in resource management. Improved resource allocation ensures that vehicles are used efficiently, reducing the fleet’s wear and tear and overall emissions.

2. Implement efficient storage and distribution systems

Manual planning in fuel distribution is time-consuming and error-prone, leading to inefficiencies and safety risks. Challenges such as complex tanker configurations, prohibited fuel combinations, and the need for precise loading and unloading further complicate the planning process. A robust fuel planner offers an automated solution to tank level forecasting and volume deviation handling, ensuring efficient and safe fuel distribution – but it should also let you work manually when that makes the most sense. Let’s take a closer look.

The right fuel planner meticulously calculates the appropriate quantity of each fuel type to load into individual compartments. This loading approach serves to minimise the likelihood of cross-contamination, thus ensuring that incompatible fuel products remain separate during transportation. This precision in loading helps mitigate the risk of cross-contamination, thereby preserving the quality and integrity of the transported fuels. This not only ensures customer satisfaction but also reduces the need for costly and ecologically detrimental cleanup procedures in the event of contamination.

3. Use alternative fuels

Sustainable fuel options have emerged as a promising avenue to address sustainability concerns. These eco-conscious fuels are from renewable origins, giving the logistics industry a unique opportunity to curtail its environmental footprint, while fortifying the resilience and consistency of its operations.

4. Maintain your fleet

Fleet maintenance plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability goals. It's about more than just keeping vehicles running; it's about doing so in a way that conserves resources, reduces emissions, and operates in an eco-friendly manner.

In this context, fleet maintenance software has emerged as a powerful tool for enhancing sustainability. By leveraging advanced features and capabilities, it enables fleet managers to make informed decisions that benefit both the environment and the bottom line. Let’s consider how software for preventative maintenance can transform fleet management practices for a greener and more efficient future.

Tyres are another example. Don’t underestimate the significance of tyre pressure inspections. They have the potential to reveal unforeseen problems and shield your fleet from unanticipated expenses incurred due to excessive tire wear. A mere 1 psi drop in tire pressure can precipitate a 0.2% reduction in gas mileage, whereas adequate inflation can lead to an impressive upswing of up to 3%.¹

5. Monitor vehicle and driver performance

Telematics is all about advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities. With its real-time data collection on vehicle location, health, and driver behaviour, an intelligent telematics solution enhances driver and vehicle productivity, which translates to sustainability benefits.

Get the whitepaper!

What are the sustainability trends and challenges in the wider world of logistics? And what is the economic impact on businesses adopting environmentally friendly processes? Find out in our whitepaper, 'Sustainability in Transport: Navigating Emerging trends and Economic and Environmental Benefits of a Sustainable Approach'.

Get the whitepaper

¹ Keeping Your Vehicle in Shape, www.fueleconomy.gov

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