For full functionality of this page it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser

NEW CUSTOMERS 0345 8501 093

EXISTING CUSTOMERS 01922 704 455

Latest News

The inside track on gauging economic recovery from the haulage sector

By Paul Holland, MD for UK Fuel at FLEETCOR

It was only a few months ago that our minds were focussed on Brexit – then came the COVID-19 pandemic. If ever there was a barometer of one sector that could be used to look at the wider UK economy, then the Haulage sector is it.

This is because UK haulage, worth annually £124bn to our economy, is hugely representative of the productivity of other sectors in the UK.

Consumer spending drives the economy. If the population is not spending then that reduces the need for the same level of movement of goods, thereby slowing down the haulage market. So, we can see say that if haulage is slowing then so is the economy and (hopefully soon) vice versa.

With that said, Paul Holland, MD for UK Fuel at FLEETCOR explores the impact on haulage from the pandemic, how with lockdown easing has prompted clear signs of recovery and how insights from the haulage industry can provide businesses with a clearer picture for the months ahead.

A closer look at the impact of lockdown

Taking the time to reflect on the last three months, it is clear that consumer demand was impacted almost overnight from the lockdown in March. Consumer spending that is normally spent on the high street, for example, got wiped out overnight. However, as many businesses and the high street have started to open up and show recovery there are encouraging signs.

It’s important to also note that some markets and sectors didn’t see as much of a negative impact at all. In fact quite the opposite. The food sector and other critical services (medical goods) were as flat out and buoyant as they’ve ever been. Around 98% of everything we eat, use and wear will, at some point in the supply chain, be transported by road and these critical supplies needed to be moved across the nation.

What’s more, although construction and manufacturing were put on pause almost instantaneously, they have shown a big boost in activities over the last month, recovering by nearly 30% and 15% volumes respectively from the peak of the virus. This has been fuelled by the governments easing of lockdown restrictions and is a further positive step to a return to normal operations.

The next phase of the recovery is also already underway as the high streets open up. This is a hugely significant milestone because as ‘non-essential’ sectors such as retail and the ultimately hospitality get back running and trading it will help the economy gather momentum and fuel recovery.

A “silent show of strength” by UK hauliers

The dynamics of the haulage sector are different to other workplaces. Offices, for example, were able to work from home but for truck drivers there had to be shifts in the way they operate to ensure safety and normal operations. Typically, drivers would normally share vehicles, but some companies took the necessary steps to ensure some drivers didn’t increase the risk of COVID-19.

Drivers on the road had to also navigate some obstacles such as some fuel sites closing, however, this was mainly due to staffing issues rather than any lack of fuel. Additionally, drivers had to overcome some service stations closing at the height of the pandemic – thankfully, these are all back up and running now.

What’s more, some companies did have to make use of government schemes by furloughing drivers and some operational staff due to their volumes reducing to almost 50% at the height of lockdown. With around 85% of road hauliers being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) it is pleasing to see most companies largely back up and running now and this is testament to the sector.

We all saw the early reports of people panic buying certain supplies for fear of running out or shortages, but the reality is that this was never an issue. It didn’t happen because the haulage industry pumped the lifeblood into the economy at its most vulnerable and ensured the necessities got to every section of the population.

This is a glowing example of how much as a nation we depend on the haulage industry, something not often remembered as other pressures and political and economic rhetoric takes the limelight. More than 2.5m people work in the haulage and logistics industry and they have all shown a silent strength by staying on the road and keeping the nation moving.

How insights from haulage can provide an indicator for economic growth

Even though haulage was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and by lockdown, the signs of recovery are very positive. Although, the future is harder to predict and the question on everyone’s mind is when the COVID-19 pandemic finally eases away – what will our economy look like?

It’s worth being mindful that the government has taken on a lot of debt to rightfully help much of the population and businesses through this period, but those funds will have to be paid back. And now businesses are looking at the rest of the year to see how the markets reacts, and what happens with consumer confidence?

No one has a crystal ball but one way to help businesses is by equipping them with our knowledge and insights from the key sectors that act as the view of the wider economy. Volume at companies such as ourselves at Keyfuels is fully reflective of the haulage industry. So, we can help businesses needing such insight to help them get back up and running more efficiently.

Our insight helps businesses with the difficult decisions that lay ahead for the rest of the year as more sectors open up and we head back to a new normal.

 

Top tips to help you and your business cope with COVID-19

We’ve put together our top tips to help businesses that need to keep their employees on the road during these challenging times.

Tip 1 - Keep employees safe when refuelling

The advice from the health service is to keep our hands, and surfaces that our hands touch, as clean as possible. This especially applies to payments, where cash and payment devices may pick up germs.

Here’s our 6 suggestions for employees to consider when refuelling vehicles:

1. Use outdoor payment terminals or night payment hatches where possible.
2. Use gloves where provided (or take your own) to prevent direct contact with payment terminals and pump nozzles.
3. For drivers who have a signature payment card, we recommend that they carry their own pen with them to use when paying for the transaction.
4. Look at refuelling during quieter times of the day if possible.
5. Keep vehicle touchpoints and cards clean, using anti-bac wipes and following government advice: wash hands and or use hand gel before and after each visit.
6. When employees need to queue outside of their vehicle for fuel, they should stay a 2 metre distance away from the person queuing in front of them.

Tip 2: We’ve got the tools you and your business needs

On the road your employees need the right tools to help them get on with their job.

A fuel card, used in combination with a fuel site locator, can help avoid the need to drive extra miles to find a site.

Tip 3: Stay on top of costs

With all the challenges businesses have right now, now is the time to keep an extra eye on running costs.

With ControlMax, you can make the rules and stay on tops of costs. ControlMax provides you with the ability to:

• Lock down specific fuel sites for certain cards on certain days or at certain times of the day

• Rules can be set at account, card level or anywhere in between

• Unrivalled visibility and control over you fuel spend

• Real-time visibility and control of fuel spend with SMS or email alerts about actions

• Make new rules online 24/7 that come into force in under an hour

• Decide what action you automatically want to take when a rule is broken: Alert; alert and decline the transaction; or alert and block the card

Tip 4: Don't let your paperwork get out of control

Amidst all the confusion that businesses are facing, now is not the time to let your paperwork get out of control. Further down the line you’ll be needing to submit VAT returns, and gather up receipts that may get forgotten.

Avoid this pain by using the right tools:

• Avoid an administrative headache by choosing the right fuel card to suit your business’ needs.

• The fastest way to manage any general requests on your account at this time is online through keyfuels.co.uk, which gives you 24/7 access to:

1. Order and cancel cards
2. View your current stock balance
3. View transactional activity and much more

If you have any queries that cannot be managed online, please contact our customer service team on 01922 704455.

Tip 5: Be fraud aware

Sadly even in these difficult times, we have seen instances of attempted fraud. Ensure you and your employees pay using secure methods; for example, fuel or expenses cards rather than cash.

You can also keep you cards and account safe by asking your drivers to not share any card PINs and report cards lost or stolen to you as soon as they’re aware.

Make sure you remain vigilant in checking your transactional activity for anything unusual and take correct measures against any spending which are against your internal policy. If you notice anything suspicious about your account or a card is lost or stolen, you can report this online or contact our customer service team at 01922 704455.

Any business that’s serious about fuel security uses standard velocity controls to track where and when their drivers fill up and how much they spend. With Keyfuels’ ControlMax, you make the rules.

ControlMax provides you with the ability to:

• Lock down specific fuel sites for certain cards on certain days or at certain times of the day

• Rules can be set at account, card level or anywhere in between

• Real-time visibility and control of fuel spend with SMS or email alerts about driver actions

• Make new rules online 24/7 that come into force in under an hour

• Decide what action you automatically want to take when a rule is broken: Alert; alert and decline the transaction; or alert and block the card

 

Keyfuels: fueling the customer first for over 40 years

At Keyfuels, we are committed to consistently providing an excellent customer experience.

How do we do this? We constantly talk and take feedback from our customers. It has allowed us to grow as much as we have over the last 40 years and keep the UK’s fleet drivers on the road, with minimal disruption or inconvenience when refueling.

Industry leader rated (again!)

As part of our commitment to ensure that we maintain this vision, we’ve just carried out our own customer monitoring study with very pleasing findings.

The results revealed we retained our rating as industry leader in 2019, achieving an overall Net Promoter (NPS) score of 55% - classed as excellent, an increase on the 2018 score of 50%. NPS is a customer loyalty metric that measures customers’ willingness to not only return for another purchase or service but also make a recommendation. Our score is a truly great number that we are very proud of. It is also well above the industry average for credit cards, 37.

We also excelled across the board for service attributes, including easy to use reporting tools, innovative solutions, card control and security features and network range.

Overall, 95% of customers said they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Keyfuels, and 93% said they are extremely likely or likely to choose Keyfuels again. And when it came to rating our customer support, 96% of respondents felt that we have friendly and helpful staff, while 98% said that Keyfuels is a reliable and trustworthy partner for their business.

Also, we’re delighted that 93% of those we quizzed said that they are extremely likely or likely to choose Keyfuels again in the future.

Not only does it demonstrate that a customer-centric culture has a direct impact on loyalty, but it also shows us that our value proposition is hitting the right note.

Never stationary

Keyfuels has been offering fuel cards and access to our network since 1981, and since then has grown to become the UK’s largest commercial fuel network. We have no intention of slowing down. In fact, we are continuously enhancing our services to increase the value to our customers.

Our ever-expanding network is set to reach a new milestone in 2020 as we announce our 3,000th UK fuel site. This is another strong indicator of our continued growth. Importantly, it offers our customers the greatest choice and maximum convenience for their fueling needs, something we’ll never put the handbrake on!

 

Keyfuels passes the milestone 3,000th UK Fuel Site

Every new year brings new possibility and opportunity. At Keyfuels it brings milestone achievements, as we recently announced that our network has passed over 3,000 sites in the United Kingdom (UK).

The milestone was passed by adding the Racecourse Service Station in Doncaster to the network in December 2019, strengthening our position as the largest commercial fuel network in the region.

Having started with just 30 sites over 40 years ago, today the Keyfuels network gives commercial vehicles unrivalled fuel site access on all major routes.

We continue to offer our customers the greatest choice and maximum convenience for their fueling needs and breaking through this landmark number of UK fuel sites accepting Keyfuels is another strong indicator of our continued growth.

Success through customer centricity

At the heart of our success is the focus on customer. This has been integral to Keyfuels and is reflected in our latest customer satisfaction survey.

The results revealed that we’ve retained our rating as the industry leader in 2019, achieving an overall Net Promoter score of 55%, an increase on the 2018 score of 50%. We also excelled across the board for service attributes, including easy to use reporting tools, innovative solutions, card control and security features and network range.

Ensuring the best service and experience to our customers has always been our key priority. So, whilst 93% of our customers are satisfied with our service, and 95% would choose us as a partner again in the future, we remain firmly determined to keep providing quality, innovative solutions that keep the UK’s fleet drivers on the road, with minimal disruption or inconvenience when refueling.

This is particularly important as we witness volatility in the fuel market. It is therefore as important as ever for fuel card providers, such as us, and fuel sites to offer fleets the right solutions that keep them on the road and in control of their budgets.

Keeping businesses on the road

How do we plan to achieve this? We plan to grow our network even more. Our network has increased nearly 40% over the last five years alone and nearly doubled in size since 2013.

Overall, the total number of Keyfuels network sites at the end of last year rose to 3,067, over a 5% increase in sites year-on-year. This year we are already working to add a further 100 sites to our roster of service stations in early 2020 through key partners, including Welcome Break, Moto, Motor Fuel Group and Rontec.

Such significant growth ensures all our customers have more choice and convenience when it comes to refueling in the UK.

 

Keyfuels proves its commitment to customer satisfaction

In today’s fast-paced and extremely competitive business environment, it goes without saying that a commitment to customer satisfaction forms the foundation of any successful company.

Various studies have shown that customer satisfaction has a direct impact on loyalty, retention and the bottom line. As such, adopting a customer-centric culture and closely monitoring – as well as measuring – satisfaction, is a crucial factor in developing strong, long-lasting customer relationships.

At Keyfuels, we are committed to consistently providing an excellent customer experience by delivering fuel cards and fuel management services that help businesses to reduce costs, increase profitability and manage fuel more efficiently.

What’s more, we think it’s essential that organisations make a concerted effort to listen to their customers – particularly in the highly connected world we now live in where reputations can be won and lost in an instant. After all, how can any company make necessary improvements if it isn’t attuned to customers’ needs and gripes?

And, practising what we preach, we’ve just had the results back from our own customer monitoring research, conducted by specialists, Customer Service Network.

The study revealed that 92.8% of customers are satisfied with the service provided by Keyfuels, and 95% would choose us as a partner again in the future. On top of that, 96.2% of customers feel that Keyfuels is a reliable and trustworthy partner.

When it comes to the service attributes Keyfuels was commended by its customers for, the knowledge and competence of its staff came out on top with a 98% approval rating. In addition, Keyfuels was applauded for its reliability and trustworthiness as a strategic partner (97%), the ease of which it can be contacted (97%), and for keeping its promises to customers (96%).

Naturally we’re delighted with the results of this research, however, they haven’t been left to chance. Keyfuels has made a commitment and delivered through an industry-leading level of service and support, as well as our customer-first approach and strong customer value proposition. As we continue to enhance the Keyfuels offering and grow our network, we look forward to meeting the evolving needs of our customers in the months and years to come and reinforcing our position as the UK’s leading fuel card provider.

 

Keyfuels Acquires r2c, a UK based provider of Fleet & Workshop Management Software

Expands Keyfuels Offering with Full Product Suite of Fuel Cards and Maintenance Services

April 2, 2019 – Keyfuels announced today that it has completed the acquisition of r2c Online Limited (“r2c”), a UK based provider of Fleet and Workshop management software for Heavy Goods Vehicles (“HGVs”). The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

r2c, founded in 2003 and operating in the UK predominantly, has established itself a leading software platform for compliance, workshop and fleet management for HGVs. r2c’s suite of products allows HGV fleet operators & workshop managers to streamline the entire supply chain through one easy-to-use system. The products help clients to drive efficiency, reduce risk, increase cost-effectiveness and generate significant return on investment.

“We are pleased to announce this transaction and we welcome the r2c team to Keyfuels. This transaction strengthens our presence in the HGV segment, and complements our wider group’s offering of fleet and workshop management services. We see strong synergies in offering new, value added products and services to Keyfuels which supports over 130,000 HGVs. We look forward to continuing r2c’s success,” said Paul Holland, Senior Vice President, Keyfuels

Nick Walls, Founder and Managing Director of r2c Online commented. “I am proud of everything we have achieved at r2c, from humble beginnings in 2003, to a market leader in the UK. Bringing together our expertise with Keyfuels allows us to expand our reach and deliver even more value to our customers. With this backing, r2c will be able to accelerate the development of new products and services, enter new markets and facilitate easy access to a wide range of complementary fleet products and services.”

About Keyfuels

Keyfuels is a trading name of CH Jones Limited, a subsidiary of FleetCor UK Acquisition Limited, a subsidiary of FleetCor Technologies Inc, and the UK’s leading independent fuel card provider into the Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) and Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) market. With access to around 3,000 nationwide sites, Keyfuels supports customers with integrated fuel solutions, efficient purchasing mechanisms and management controls to best minimize fuel costs. For more information, please visit www.keyfuels.co.uk

About r2c

r2c Online’s software platform currently connects 23,000 fleets and 1,000 workshops for best practice vehicle compliance and maintenance. Multi award-winning solutions drive efficiency, reduce risk and provide fast ROI for fleets of all types and makes, with strong customer bases in the logistics, plant, waste and public sector industries. www.r2conline.com

 

How can Commercial Fleet Operators Mitigate against Rising Fuel Costs?

Commercial fleet operators are contending with the highest fuel costs since 2014.

Driven by the rising price of crude oil, which peaked at $80 per barrel in May, the cost of fuel at the pump has risen by nearly six pence per litre.

Worse, the volatile relationship between the US and Iran could drive further increases in costs. The United States recently withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and has threatened to cease trading with other countries that continue to trade with Iran. The deterioration of such trade contracts could limit the supply of fuel from affected countries, with a potential rise in costs.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia, the biggest member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is voicing its concerns about volatile oil prices. Oil exports represent a major part of OPEC members’ economies. However, with consumption potentially set to diminish in 2019, these countries may restrict supply to protect higher oil prices and protect their growth.

Finally, the falling value of the pound against the US dollar is making fuel costlier. Oil is traded exclusively in dollars but, currently, £1 equals just $1.33, a decline from mid-April when £1 equaled $1.43.

Operators can mitigate against these factors by implementing three cost-saving measures today:

1. Opt for a fuel card – By shopping around the fuel card market, operators can benefit from significant savings. For example, those offered by Keyfuels enable customers to pay a fixed weekly price for fuel that is typically cheaper than the price at the pump. Larger operators can also bunker their own fuel – which is generally the most cost-effective way to refuel on the road.

2. Improve drivers’ efficiency – Many commercial vehicle drivers deviate from their routes to fill up, wasting fuel as they do so. Keyfuels gives drivers access to over 2,020 fuel sites, the UK’s largest commercial fuel network, to maximise efficiency and keep drivers en route.

3. Leverage data - Operators can improve their fuel efficiency and keep overheads under control by better harnessing data. Again, fuel card providers can facilitate this by giving operators access to real-time management information reports. This allows for improved visibility around fuel transactions, enabling operators to plan their fuel purchases at strategic times.

Fuel card operators such as Keyfuels work in close partnership with fleet operators, helping to buy fuel effectively, minimize consumption and leverage technology to gain competitive advantage. Whilst operators cannot control global commodity markets, they can control the way they manage one of their largest operating costs.