Hurricane season may be uneventful — or it could be a stressful time with potentially disastrous circumstances. As a fleet manager, you know how vital it is to keep your vehicles on the road. And during a fuel shortage, the extra demand for diesel can leave your fleet stranded.
That means 2022’s hurricane season may present an even higher likelihood of economic or practical strain. Supply-chain issues have already made it challenging to meet fuel demand and optimize fleets’ consumption.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here’s how to adequately prepare your fuel-up and risk mitigation plans for hurricane season.
Get fuel contracts in place
It’s basic supply and demand: when supply is low and demand is high, prices surge. During hurricane season, both individual consumers and businesses are stocking up on fuel for their vehicles and generators. This increases demand, while supply may be slow to catch up. As a result, prices surge.
By booking a fuel contract, you can lock in your rate for your expected fuel consumption. This can help protect your fleet budget from exorbitant surges — costs that you would inevitably have to pass onto customers or absorb as a loss.
Forge strong carrier relationships
Even carriers are vulnerable to supply-chain issues, especially during hurricane season. What happens if your fuel supplier can no longer fulfill your needs?
That’s why you should always have a Plan B (and C, and D) in terms of carriers. Build reliable relationships with multiple suppliers and know where your fleet can fuel up. Check to make sure your carriers have backups as well. In times of crisis, you’ll need a broad network of resources to keep you topped up.
Plan for contingencies
In addition to finding multiple reliable fuel suppliers, ensure that your fleet has multiple options for fueling. Map out a contingency plan in case one carrier dries up or otherwise cannot meet your needs. Where will your drivers go next? What happens if Plan B is also a no-go?
If you’ve been using your own inventory, reserve it for after the storm. You should also create a protocol for when retail fueling is more optimal. During hurricane season, the convenience and reliability may justify the additional expense.
By creating an action plan for multiple scenarios, you avoid panicked misjudgments and ensure that your fleet can stay fueled with minimal impact on your bottom line.
Prepare Your Logistics for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season can be wildly unpredictable — but your fleet’s fuel supply doesn’t have to be. By forming several complementary carrier relationships and developing a firm contingency plan, you’ll gain the peace of mind that you can send your drivers to the right facility, no matter the situation. Plus, planning ahead can protect your bottom line from surge pricing and other budget spikes. Now is the time to start preparing your logistics for hurricane season 2022!
Need help? Reach out to Diversified Energy Supply to learn about our disaster-resistant fuel solutions and recovery options.