How can fuel infrastructure expansion and maintenance ensure increased demand in the supply chain is fulfilled?

By Richard Campbell, Commercial Manager, Fuel Infrastructure

Ensuring continuity of supply in the logistics industry is of critical importance at this challenging time. Richard Campbell, commercial manager, Fuel Infrastructure, explains the opportunities for temporarily expanding fuel infrastructure, and the importance of maintaining your existing fuel infrastructure to ensure compliance and safety.

According to DEFRA, food manufacturers have increased their production by 50% to cope with a surge in demand caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. We have seen a significant shift in food purchases from the foodservice sector to supermarkets[1]. The shift has been so huge that it prompted one of the big four supermarkets to change its core purpose to ‘feed the nation’.

There are options available to businesses to increase their distribution fleet fuel capacity to fulfil the surge in demand. I would also urge businesses to ensure their fleet fuel infrastructure now, more than ever, is compliant and safe.

Installing temporary new infrastructure

The first, and simplest way to increase the volume of fuel in your distribution fleet tanks is to arrange additional fuel deliveries.

Installing new, temporary fleet fuel tanks and pumps could also be an option. This would mean that you could store more fuel, which would generate a cost saving as well as a time efficiency while you wait for tanks to be refuelled.

When we perform a new tank installation, we sometimes install a temporary tank to allow refuelling operations to keep running while a new unit is installed. A temporary tank could be used in this scenario to increase the capacity of fuel.

Ensure your maintenance schedule is adhered to

Maintaining your existing infrastructure is also vitally important in this time of crisis to ensure your distribution fleet can cope with increased demand.

The increase in use will likely mean that remedials will be higher. Parts that are more likely to require replacement with increased use are filters and gauges for example.

Fuel tanks should be inspected every one, three, six, 12, 36 and 72 months. ADR tanks should be tested every three and six years.

It is critical, now, more than ever, to ensure that maintenance schedules are not missed for the compliance and safety of your operation, so you can continue to fulfil demand.

The Fuel Storage Regulations cover separators, bunds and associated pipe work, with standards set and enforced by the Environment Agency, EN standard EN858-2 states that separators should be serviced at least twice a year.

An increased possibility of leak or spill

An increase in demand will also increase the possibility of a leak or spill. Not only can site owners and any employees or contractors tasked with facilities management be held personally liable in a criminal court for spills, non-compliance with legislative obligations can generate massive downtime at your site, huge fines and multiple private claims.

Ensuring you are there when the nation needs you most

You need a partner that can be flexible and work around your business to minimise disruption and downtime, whether delivering additional fuel, adding fuel infrastructure capacity, conducting routine maintenance, or quickly and effectively dealing with your spill incident.

 

[1] https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2020/03/22/Coronavirus-panic-buying-prompts-food-manufacturers-to-boost-production

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