For airport administrators, there’s no question that procuring, managing, and monitoring fuel for ground vehicles and facilities can be a real challenge to balance. What is also undisputed is that fuel is one of the most significant expenses for airport facilities. Controlling fuel costs by improving fuel efficiency and reducing waste should be a top priority.
Most airport ground fueling providers typically offer bulk fuel services that help airport administrators overcome fuel-related challenges. It also ensures their operations’ long-term profitability, sustainability, and environmental compliance.
But with many bulk fuel providers in the airport marketplace, what exactly should you expect from a bulk fuel contract? Another question is what should you look for in a provider to get the greatest ROI? Follow along for some information to help you answer those questions.
Getting the Most from Your Fuel Contract: Fuel at the Right Price, the Right Amount, and the Right Time
With a bulk fuel contract in place, you can lock in a guaranteed fuel price for the duration of your contract. With fuel price volatility always present, a contract protects your bottom line by reducing your exposure to risk since your fuel price does not fluctuate with the markets. A contract also gives you greater control over your fuel budget. This makes fuel budgeting a more streamlined and accurate process.
The benefits of a fixed fuel price are certainly a reason to jump on board with bulk fueling, but look before you leap. Before signing a contract, there are several areas to cover to ensure you get the best ROI from your bulk fuel program. The most critical areas are fuel needs and fuel price.
Determining the amount of fuel and the delivery schedule needed to fuel your airport facility and ground vehicles reliably is job number one. Areas to assess before engaging in talks with a fuel provider include:
- Number of ground vehicles, generators, and other equipment
- Fuel type(s) required
- Number of tanks at your facility
- Amount of fuel you currently use
- Consistency of usage
Equally important is whether your fuel is used after each delivery or if it’s stored for future use. Keep in mind that if diesel is stored for too long, it can become contaminated and damage fuel system components. This could result in costly repairs and lost productivity due to vehicle and equipment downtime.
Your objective is to negotiate the best price, which is hard to accomplish if you don’t know the energy markets. Don’t go into a meeting with your provider unprepared. Studying the market to learn what affects fuel prices will pay off in your negotiations.
Secondly, location can have an impact on price. So know where your provider is getting their fuel. Lastly, make sure your provider is agreeable with a provision in your contract to review your agreement as time goes on. This is key to getting the best price. If you signed a contract when prices were high and they drop, your provider should allow you to take advantage of the lower price.
Qualifications to Expect from Your Provider:
With the number of providers of bulk fuel for airport facilities, it’s essential to know what to look for in a provider. Keeping your ground vehicles and facility running smoothly is dependent on your provider’s services and solutions. So make sure they have:
- Knowledge, experience, and a proven track record within the industry. This includes bulk fuel delivery, management, and monitoring for airport facilities and ground vehicles.
- A wide range of solutions to reliably and cost-effectively meet your fuel needs based on the amount of fuel used in a day, month, and year.
- Multiple sources, so you are always guaranteed the fuel supply you need. Relying on a single-source provider is a risk you don’t want to take, as they are vulnerable to fuel shortages and high prices.
- Advanced equipment, information systems, fuel management platform, and technology to create cost-effective and reliable methods for bulk fuel purchasing, inventory management, fuel use tracking, fuel quality testing, and environmental compliance.
- 24/7/365 availability backed by a team you can trust.