Business as usual as fuel distributer takes on major joint-venture task and supply contract
Fresh from a new cartage contract with global commodities giant Glencore, Lowes Petroleum Service has formed a distribution joint venture with BP.
The deal will see Lowes manage BP’s regional wholesale distribution network at particular regional locations in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
To be operational in September, subject to regulatory approval, Lowes expects the deal to provide “guaranteed supply, quality products, greater network coverage, a wider array of services and more depth of product choice incorporating BP card and fuels, and the BP and Castrol range of lubricants”.
Lowes General Manager, Bernie Morris, tells ATN it will be business as usual for existing customers while his company gains a deeper understanding of what the agreement will mean operationally.
At this stage, it was too early to determine how it will affect the Lowes’ fleet of Volvos, Macks, Kenworths and Ivecos across a range of configurations, Morris says.
“We are taking time out over the next four weeks to visit each site and see what happens and how it happens,” he says.
“Our immediate attitude is that everything stays the same.
“We will continue to service our customer base and make sure they are continually looked after in the same style as they have been in the past.
“Our attitude as we move forward is to provide a more effective and more efficient delivery structure to that market place.”
Meanwhile, Lowes has tendered successfully for the carting of more than 100 million litres of product annually for Glencore from Newcastle into Glencore-owned coal mines in the Hunter Valley.
“This is a three year contract and sees our company continue to grow and expand throughout the fuels and lubricants industry,” Lowes says.
“The new venture of contract cartage is a significant first for our company and sees the Goondiwindi-based business of Lowes Petroleum prove itself to be capable of meeting the stringent safety, quality and tight timeline requirements of Glencore, the world’s largest trading company.
For its part, BP indicates that it and Lowes can be expected to pool their resources on the fleet front.
“BP and Lowes Petroleum will be combining their trucks in the locations where the Lowes Petroleum Joint Venture will operate to continue delivering fuel to BP and Lowes’ customers,” a BP spokesperson says.
“There are over 100 trucks in the combined BP and Lowes Petroleum fleet.”
BP has also revealed a number of other initiatives aimed at restructuring it regional fuels business.
These include agreements toward appointing Great Southern Fuel Supplies to operate BP’s depot and logistics business in Carnamah, Geraldton and Kewdale in Western Australia, and with Toll to outsource logistics operations in Tasmania.
CREDIT: ROB McKAY, FULLYLOADED.COM.AU,