Fresh data from RAC confirms that diesel and petrol prices soared at the pumps in July, with sterling losing 3% on the US dollar. The weakening pound against the dollar and the euro, amid the backdrop of volatile global oil prices, means that fleets should consider this the perfect opportunity to review the fuel pricing options available to them.
That’s the view of Sue Branston, country head of Fleet Logistics UK and Ireland. Due to the tendency for market volatility to affect the fuel spend of fleets, fleet operators are being encouraged to make strategic decisions that are the “right choice” based on the “future of their business from a cost, driver and environmental perspective”.
Branston said that “global unrest” based around the ongoing US-China trade war and the UK’s impending Brexit are “both impacting on the fleet supply chain”. Subsequently, she believes it’s an opportune moment to “review options” and “control pricing” to manage the total cost of fleet ownership.
“For any business, the diverse range of challenges involved in operating a fleet is often unique to that business, and this diversity extends to fuel policy and purchasing methods,” said Branston.
“As it’s the second biggest cost for fleets, reviewing expenditure on a regular basis, with the help of specialists to leverage knowledge within this area, is key to controlling fuel spend.”
According to Branston, many businesses often operate without a handle on the actual cost of their fuel tariffs and many still paid pump prices as a result.
“Retail margins have been higher than normal this year and commodity price impacting more than currency fluctuations,” added Branston.
“Protecting the true price per litre paid, in addition to maximising consumption through improved driver behaviour, considering journey necessity, car sharing and route sharing, is key in controlling fleet spend.
“There have been some nasty surprises for certain fleet operators when results of the analysis of the last 6-12 months of fuel spend have been presented to them and we compared actual costs against the best available in the marketplace and highlighted potential savings.”
Key to making fuel savings for fleet operators is to understand the pricing mechanisms and the choices available in the marketplace; particularly lesser known options – and working with an expert partner.