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Fuel Management

Looking Ahead to the Future of the Retail Fuel Industry

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Last week, FuelQuest held its 9th annual GRAIL conference in San Diego. Excitement was high as representatives from companies across North America travelled to the industry event. GRAIL attendees heard presentations from noted economist Dr. Philip K. Verleger of PKVerleger and Greg Scott, SVP Supply Operations, from Cumberland Gulf Group. An industry panel discussion followed which included Paul Stone, formerly of Shell International and an independent director for FuelQuest and was moderated by Matt Tormollen, FuelQuest President and CEO.

After hearing similar messages from both Verleger and Scott on the future outlook of the retail fuel market, one thing that stuck in my mind was the importance of carriers and fuel suppliers working with retailers and fleets to help each remain competitive to combat not only fuel volatility but non-traditional competitors. Although each approached it from a different angle, one thing that they both focused on was the changing market dynamics for fuel retailers and that adaptation will be necessary for retailers to survive alongside declining gasoline consumption, competition from big-box retailers and other non-traditional competitors.

Specifically, Greg Scott stressed that retailers will need to embrace alternative fuel offerings as well as revamp beverage and fresh food offerings to continue to drive customer loyalty – the “same old tired salty snacks just won’t cut it” and “fresh, good tasting food service” is a necessity.

The other side of this future state and something that retailers have been combating since 2004 is fuel volatility. Combating volatility requires both retailers and suppliers to work together and be nimble to take advantage of the opportunities that volatility presents. Companies and suppliers who support load shifting tactics with good performance and accurate billing will help retailers and fleets remain successful and become trusted partners.

Highlighting this need, the 2nd annual FuelQuest Q Awards brought it into focus this year as two of the winners led their respective categories in load shifting, with the third leading the pack in invoicing accuracy. These trusted partners delivered accurately and dependably throughout the previous year to help make FuelQuest customers successful in their respective businesses.

So congratulations to Falcon Fuels (for delivered supplier of the year), Pro Petroleum (for carrier of the year for the 2nd year in a row), and U.S. Oil and Refining (FOB rack supplier of the year)!

Wrapping up another exciting GRAIL conference, we can now look forward to next year’s event in Nashville in 2014!


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Cheryl Gilson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bubba Lange This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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