BBBEE, SHEQ scores and flexibility drive fuel distribution growth

Crossroads receives vote of confidence from Chevron

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Securing a logistics contract to distribute fuel for any one of the fuel giants has become a closed contest between best of breed transport companies vying to get the better of regulatory rigours – both environmental and transformational – and while at it, lay bare a safety track record that’s supported by experience in hauling hazardous goods.

For Crossroads, being named Chevron coastal hauler of the year in 2012 was a big vote of confidence. But important though awards like these are, winning new fuel business, and extensions to existing contracts because of performance is still the ultimate accolade.

Being awarded new business contracts in this exacting industry calls for a high level of Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) standards. And these audits are by no means simple tests to be passed on regular intervals. Each fuel company exacts different standards and has different assessment patterns. The only way to comply is to live to the highest standards – and this has been the Crossroads approach.    Bi-annually all fuel contracts are subjected to Crossroads inspired external audits aimed at ensuring that management, process and operational systems, vehicles and equipment pass muster, and can set ever increasing standards for future goals. “When it comes to distributing fuel, there can be no shortcomings when standards are involved. Our dedicated fleet, in excess of 70 vehicles, is regularly assessed to conform to the highest SHEQ standards. It is also imperative that all drivers transporting fuel be accredited with Dangerous Goods training and that trucks be equipped with the right technology to handle dangerous goods,” says Robert Benade, a Regional Manager at Crossroads for the Namibia Operation.

Crossroads’ relationship with Chevron is crucial to the functioning of Cape Town’s International Airport, with the former contracted to distribute A-1 jet fuel from a Milnerton-based refinery to Cape Town International Airport – at a staggering rate of 260 million litres per annum. Since jet fuel is a hazardous material it was extremely important for Chevron to choose a logistics partner that had the right credentials and fuel transportation experience. Crossroads was the ideal choice as the company had worked with jet fuel in the past, and commands a wealth of experience in general fuel transportation.

When compared with other big-name players in the fuel distribution business Crossroads gains an edge through its B-BBEE ownership score with over 45% black ownership.

A level three level B-BEEE rating meant Crossroads could enter into a contract with Tshipi E’ Ntle – a manganese mine in Northern Cape – for the on-site provision of fuel from the Kroonstad terminal to a storage facility on the mine. Because Tshipi’s mine is opencast – it uses a lot of earth moving equipment – and requires more fuel than a conventional underground mining operation. The efficient and cost effective delivery of fuel is a critical enabler of production.

One of the challenges posed by the type of work they do to their SHEQ standards is the variety of challenges this fleet faces. Crossroads are involved in bridging work to both Mining and Agricultural operations, local fuel distribution to retailers with more than one brand owner and in more than one SADC country, and has experience with cross border fuel movement.  “Our ability to react to demand, whether increasing or decreasing, and still to be cost effective is key to the success of modern logistics solutions,” says Ken Light, of Crossroads,

The above quote rings true and is proved by Crossroads’ ability to provide flexible solutions that cater to the fluctuating demand between summer and winter in the Cape Town area –the demand for jet fuel for example is a combination of demand driven by commercial and leisure use of airlines. Petrol and diesel used by consumers also rises in the busy summer season.

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