Parman Acquires Star Petroleum

parmanenergyParman Energy Corporation, “Parman”, announced its acquisition of Star Petroleum in Blytheville and Jonesboro, AR. Star Petroleum is a petroleum distribution company that serves Arkansas, Missouri, and West Tennessee. The company has been proudly owned and managed by Jim Sims for over 20 years.

Star Petroleum specializes in oils and greases, motor fuels, diesel exhaust fluid and coolants. With Citgo as their leading lubricants brand, the company is best known for their service to the vast agricultural and industrial areas in Arkansas. “We are pleased to be joining forces with the Parman team” says Star Petroleum owner, Jim Sims. “Their staff understands and reflects our mission to deliver industry leading customer service and quality products.”

Mark Spaniol, Parman’s Sr. VP of Sales, says “Star Petroleum has a great reputation for service and customer loyalty. We’re excited about the opportunities this union will bring and are proud to have Star become a part of the Parman Energy family.” This partnership will bring new products to Star Petroleum’s customers, and will also bring some of Citgo’s most esteemed brands to the Parman family, such as Mystik and Clarion.

“We are excited to be increasing our service footprint into Eastern Arkansas” says Steve Moore, Parman’s President & CEO, “and look forward to expanding Star’s resources and technical expertise with a focus on Totally Outrageous Customer Service.”

About Parman Energy Corporation
Parman Energy Corporation is an employee owned company that delivers quality lubricant products, diesel exhaust fluid, motor fuels, petroleum equipment, metalworking fluids, coolants, and related products and services. Since the mid-1930’s, the Parman name has been a name synonymous with petroleum products in Tennessee and has since continued to expand their diverse petroleum product offerings throughout the Southeastern U.S. For additional information, please visit the company website at www.parmanenergy.com.

Pugh-Apollo Acquires Veteran’s Oil

Pugh Apollo logoPugh Lubricants and Apollo Oil (“Pugh-Apollo”) announced the acquisition of Veteran’s Oil, headquartered in Birmingham, AL. Veteran’s Oil is a leading regional distributor of fuels, lubricants, diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), and related products and services for the automotive, commercial, and industrial markets. Veteran’s Oil covers the Alabama and Georgia markets from distribution centers in Birmingham, Montgomery and Atlanta. This geography borders the existing company footprint that includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia.

VeteransLogoPugh-Apollo President Mike Pugh said, “The addition of Veteran’s Oil is a great fit for our organization and will strengthen our ability to serve customers throughout the Southeast. We are excited to expand further into Alabama and Georgia with a great new partner who shares our commitment to delivering quality products and providing great service.” Jason Musgrove, General Manager, Veteran’s Oil said, “This is a great opportunity to bring Veteran’s top quality workforce and exceptional customer service into an organization with similar values.”

Key strategic benefits of the acquisition include:

  • Augmented product offerings and deeper market footprint. The larger distribution reach offers suppliers unmatched access to customers in the expanded operating region and provides a greater selection of products and services for customers.
  • Enhanced service for customers. The combination of the companies’ resources allows for accelerated investment in technology and personnel, reinforcing the company’s leading position in service to its customers.
  • Investment in employees. The larger and growing organization allows for enhanced training, technology, and career advancement opportunities for employees, making the firm a preferred employer in the markets served.
  • Plans to pursue further expansion. The company plans to pursue organic and inorganic growth opportunities while continually investing in its value proposition to customers and suppliers.

The transaction was effective as of September 26, 2017.

About Pugh Lubricants and Apollo Oil (“Pugh-Apollo”)
Pugh-Apollo is a distributor of nationally branded and private label finished lubricants, antifreeze, and other ancillary product lines throughout the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and portions of Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. For additional information, www.PughLubricants.com and www.ApolloOil.com.

About Veteran’s Oil
Veteran’s Oil is a distributor of nationally branded and private label fuels, finished lubricants, antifreeze, and other ancillary product lines throughout Alabama and Georgia. For additional information, please visit www.veteransoilinc.com.

PQIA Finds “Two More Bad Apples”

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America (PQIA) put two more products on its “DON’T BUY” list.

In the day following the PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit on September 14th, PQIA said it stopped by several convenience stores located within a few blocks of the hotel where the Summit reception was held. To its disappointment, PQIA reported that it found two products on the shelves that immediately raised concern due to labeling issues. The PQIA says that in addition to what’s on the labels being a concern, most concerning is what the found in the bottles when tested. CLICK FOR MORE

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Berkshire Invests in Pilot Flying J, Lubrizol Surcharge, New Valvoline Bottle, PQIA Summit Success

Berkshire Hathaway Invests in Pilot Flying J

shutterstock_443081914Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Pilot Flying J jointly announced that Berkshire has made a significant minority investment in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, d/b/a Pilot Flying J. The Haslam family will continue to own a majority of Pilot Flying J and Jimmy Haslam will remain as chief executive officer. Pilot Flying J President Ken Parent and the Company’s management team will also remain in place. The Company will continue to be headquartered in Knoxville, TN.

Pilot Flying J is the largest operator of travel centers in North America, with more than 27,000 team members, 750 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and more than $20 billion in revenues. The investment will expand Pilot Flying J’s opportunities for growth, as the Company remains committed to delivering outstanding service for the trucking industry, professional drivers, local communities and interstate travelers across North America.

Under the terms of the agreement, Berkshire will acquire a 38.6 percent equity stake in Pilot Flying J. The Haslam family will continue to hold a majority interest with 50.1 percent ownership in the Company and FJ Management, Inc., owned by the Maggelet family, will retain 11.3 percent ownership until 2023. In 2023, Berkshire will become the majority shareholder by acquiring an additional 41.4 percent equity stake and the Haslam family will retain 20 percent ownership in the Company and remain involved with Pilot Flying J.

“Pilot Flying J is built on a longstanding tradition of excellence and an unrivaled commitment to serving North America’s drivers,” said Warren Buffett, chairman, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. “Jimmy Haslam and his team have created an industry leader and a key enabler of the nation’s economy. The Company has a smart growth strategy in place and we look forward to a partnership that supports the trucking industry for years to come.”

“Given the impeccable reputation of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and our shared vision and values, we decided this was an ideal opportunity,” said Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J. “As a family business that has evolved and prospered over the last six decades, we knew that any potential partner would need to share our commitment and have a proven track record as a long-term investor. We have that in Berkshire Hathaway – they believe in our strategy, support our team and are excited to see Pilot Flying J grow. We are honored and humbled to partner with them.”

James Haslam II, founder and chairman, Pilot Travel Centers LLC said, “Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in Pilot Flying J is a testament to our exceptional team members and their dedication that has made Pilot Flying J the great company it is today. Berkshire Hathaway’s commitment to keep Pilot Flying J in Knoxville was most important to us. The Knoxville community is an integral part of our company and our family. We are committed to continuing to make a difference in Tennessee, supporting and giving back to our communities here at home.”

The investment by Berkshire Hathaway reflects the success of a series of transformational milestones that have allowed the Company to evolve and strengthen its capabilities and market position over the last several decades. These milestones include the merger of Pilot with Flying J to create today’s company, as well as transactions with Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Williams, Speedway, Mr. Fuel and Speedway-Wilco that have grown the Company’s network.

BDT Company, LLC advised the Company and, as part of the transaction, BDT Capital Partners, LLC exited its minority equity investment in Pilot Flying J.

About Pilot Flying J
Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, is committed to connecting people and places with comfort, care and a smile at every stop. Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Pilot Flying J has more than 750 retail locations in 44 states, more than 100 roadside assistance trucks and growing as part of its Truck Care Program, 44 Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers, and 35 Boss Shops. The Pilot Flying J network provides drivers with access to more than 70,000 parking spaces for trucks, 4,900 showers and more than 5,000 diesel lanes offering Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) at the pump. Pilot Flying J is currently ranked No. 15 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies. Visit www.pilotflyingj.com for more information. Follow @pilotflyingj on Twitter and @pilottravelcenters on Facebook.

About Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries engage in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, utilities and energy, freight rail transportation, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. Common stock of the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.

Source: Pilot Flying J

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Lubrizol Announced a Temporary Surcharge

Lubrizol advised its customers on September 27, 2017 that starting October 6th through December 31, 2017, there will be a surcharge of $10/100Kg, or $0.36/Gallon, or $0.05/lb on all Lubrizol additives excluding liquid and solid Viscosity Improvers shipped from the United States, Brazil, Canada, Korea, Mexico, and Singapore.

According to what blenders have been told, the temporary surcharge is a result of the events surrounding Hurricane Harvey and the impact on the infrastructure of the petrochemical industry. Importantly, these include interruption in the supply of chemical intermediates used in the manufacturing of additives.

Valvoline Unveils Cutting-Edge Innovation with Launch of Easy Pour Packaging

PastedGraphic-4Valvoline Inc. announced the retail launch of its newest innovation, the Easy Pour Bottle.

Valvoline worked alongside consumers to develop the game-changing design. The brand’s patent-pending Easy Pour Bottle will make changing oil easier while offering a simplified shopping solution for the automotive Do-It-Yourself (DIY) audience. “Valvoline’s goal for 151 years has been to use our expertise for the benefit of our customers. Each part of Valvoline’s Easy Pour Bottle has been engineered with our DIY consumers in mind – reimagined, redesigned, tested and proven to make changing oil easier, faster and cleaner,” said Heidi Matheys, Valvoline chief marketing officer. “Our technical team integrated an abundance of consumer field research and feedback, which ultimately resulted in this one unique design.” Highlights of Valvoline’s new Easy Pour Bottle include:

  • Easy Pull Tab™ – Makes opening the bottle clean and simple.
  • Precision Pour Spout™ – Provides accurate pour and clean cut off for a mess-free experience.
  • Anti-Glug Tube™ – Provides a glug-free pour for a faster, cleaner and easier oil change.
  • Resealable Overcap with No-Slip Grip™ – Helps prevent spillage and provides safe storage.
  • Centralized Handle – Makes for a more confident pick up, transport and pour.

EASY POUR PRESS RELEASE IMAGEThe brand is so confident in their newest innovation that they have issued a Satisfaction Guarantee at retailers nationwide, offering a 100-percent money-back promise to encourage DIYers to experience the bottle – and its advantages – for themselves. Valvoline has partnered with seven-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson to promote a series of entertaining videos showcasing the ease of use and cleanliness of the new packaging. Videos are now available for viewing at EasyPour.com. Additional motorsports athletes will participate in the series later this year.

“Our Easy Pour Bottle is one of the biggest packaging innovations in the history of Valvoline and was developed with integral feedback from DIYers and auto experts alike,” said Michelle Allen, director of marketing for Valvoline. “As we look to the future, we will continue to innovate in every area – from design to products and services – to meet the needs of our customers.”

About Valvoline™
Valvoline Inc. is a leading worldwide producer and distributor of premium branded automotive, commercial and industrial lubricants, and automotive chemicals. Valvoline ranks as the #2 quick-lube chain by number of stores and #3 passenger car motor oil brand in the DIY market by volume in the United States. The brand operates and franchises more than 1,070 Valvoline Instant Oil ChangeSM centers in the United States. It also markets Valvoline lubricants and automotive chemicals; MaxLife™ lubricants created for higher-mileage engines, SynPower™ synthetic motor oil; and Zerex™ antifreeze. Visit valvoline.com to learn more.

Lubrizol Opens New Drumming Facility and Warehouse at Painesville Township Plant

LubrizolThe Lubrizol Corporation announced the opening of a state-of-the art drumming facility and warehouse at its Painesville Township manufacturing facility, both of which are part of the company’s previously announced phased investment at the site. The total $70 million investment better positions the company to meet the changing demands of customers and ensures the integrity and quality of its products while reinforcing personal and environmental safety.

Construction on the 180,000 square feet combined buildings began in April 2015. With a focus on enhancing safety and business processes, the new buildings will be instrumental in reducing risk and achieving the company’s business objectives of improving effectiveness, efficiency and consistency.

“Historically, the Painesville Township site has been of great importance to our business, operating for more than 60 of the company’s nearly 90 years,” said Tom Curtis, incoming president of Lubrizol Additives. “This latest investment reinforces our commitment to the community by further ensuring the site as a key source in Lubrizol Additives’ global supply chain.”

With more than half of all Lubrizol Additives products worldwide containing at least one component manufactured at the Painesville Township site, adding new manufacturing capacity and updated automated packaging capabilities was a necessity. Furthermore, these efforts are important to ensure product integrity and to improve the overall safety and efficiency of handling product drums and totes.

LubrizolImgPlant

From left to right: Joshua Pennock (Painesville Township Trustee), Mike Manary (Painesville Township Administrator), John Hamercheck (Lake County Commissioner), Jerry Cirino (Lake County Commissioner), Dan Troy (Lake County Commissioner), Eric Schnur (Lubrizol), Craig Hupp (Lubrizol), Mark Rantala (Lake County Port Authority), Tom Curtis (Lubrizol), Matt Joyce (Lubrizol) and Mike Vaughn (Lubrizol)

“With our new drum filling facility, we will be able to improve safety by minimizing the manual packaging of drums, reducing packaging time for a single batch by more than 50% and minimizing the number of times a drum is handled by more than 70%,” commented Craig Hupp, Lubrizol Painesville Township plant manager. “And, with 100% indoor storage provided by our new warehouse, we will improve the quality and appearance of packaged products delivered to our customers. All of these improvements will be a tremendous value to our overall organization.”

To commemorate the opening, earlier today Lake County Commissioners presented Lubrizol with a certificate of recognition followed by a formal ribbon cutting ceremony at the facility. In attendance were several of the Lake County Commissioners and Painesville Township Trustees, as well as representatives from Lake County Port Authority. Representatives from Lubrizol included Eric Schnur, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Tom Curtis, incoming president of Lubrizol Additives; Mark Sutherland, Lubrizol corporate vice president of global communications and public affairs; Mike Vaughn, Lubrizol corporate vice president, operations; Matt Joyce, vice president of Lubrizol Additives sales and marketing; and Craig Hupp, Lubrizol Painesville Township plant manager.

About The Lubrizol Corporation
The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a market-driven global company that combines complex, specialty chemicals to optimize the quality, performance and value of customers’ products while reducing their environmental impact. It is a leader at combining market insights with chemistry and application capabilities to deliver valuable solutions to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol improves lives by acting as an essential partner in our customers’ success, delivering efficiency, reliability or wellness to their end users. Technologies include lubricant additives for engine oils, driveline and other transportation-related fluids, industrial lubricants, as well as additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for home care, personal care and skin care products and specialty materials encompassing polymer and coatings technologies, along with polymer-based pharmaceutical and medical device solutions.

With headquarters in Wickliffe, Ohio, Lubrizol owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 17 countries, as well as sales and technical offices around the world. Founded in 1928, Lubrizol has approximately 8,300 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2016 were $6.5 billion. For more information, visit Lubrizol.com.

Source: Lubrizol

The First PQIA Regional Lubricant Quality Summit was a Success!

With nearly 100 in attendance, the first regional PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit on September 14th, in Wickliffe, Ohio, was deemed a success by attendees, speakers, supporters, and sponsors.

Attendees2The theme of the PQIA Summit was “Taking it to the Streets” and by all indications, it hit its mark by raising awareness about the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market and shining a light on both good and bad motor oils, transmission fluids and other lubricants.

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From left to right: Douglas Rathbun, Robert DeRubeis, Ronald Hayes, and John Stegierwald

Adding to that, the summit included informative presentation from weights and measures from the states of Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan about their programs to protect consumers from off-spec/mislabeled motor oils, automatic transmission fluids, and antifreeze/coolant. Further, Ron Hayes, Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection, spoke to what the state of Missouri is doing to address concerns about the proliferation and dangers of obsolete tractor hydraulic fluid (THF) in the market. In addition, the Summit included informative presentations from industry thought leaders about the new CK-4 and FA-4 diesel engine oil specifications, developments in PCMO to address pre-ignition in T/GDI engines, and the growing complexity of ATFs.

Click HERE for more.

AMALIE Oil Strikes Sales and Marketing Agreement With ESL TEKnologies for its Spectrol Lubricants

AMALIE Oil, the largest private and family-owned independent blender of lubricants in North America, has signed a strategic agreement with ESL TEKnologies (ESLT), whereby ESLT has the exclusive sales and marketing rights to Spectrol branded lubricants in the U.S. AC Oil Corporation, an AMALIE business unit located in North Charleston, SC, will continue to produce and package Spectrol lubricants.

“The opportunity to increase Spectrol’s market share in the 2.3 billion gallon U.S. lubricants marketplace presents a very real opportunity for our company and AMALIE,” said John T. “Cork” Jaeger Jr., ESLT’s CEO. “We’ve assembled a seasoned marketing and sales team that has vast experience in the lubricants industry. In addition, some of our people have been involved with developing advanced lubricant formulations. We look forward to applying this expertise to the Spectrol brand as well.”

In addition to Jaeger, who has extensive experience as an executive in the automotive industry, ESLT’s management team includes David Gempel as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. An industry veteran of 37 years, Gempel has held key management positions with firms such as Valvoline, ExxonMobil, Safety-Kleen and others.

Under licensing agreements, ESLT has access to a number of proprietary additive technologies that have been developed collaboratively with the University of Texas at Arlington, and industrial and federal laboratories. One such technology, which is aimed at improving gas mileage and tailpipe emissions, is currently being tested in a vehicle fleet. According to Jaeger, preliminary findings from this test are quite promising.

“We anticipate that this strategic partnership with ESLT will help us tremendously in achieving one of our essential corporate objectives, to extend the Spectrol brand and expand its market share,” said Harry J. Barkett, president and CEO of AMALIE. “We look forward to working with the management and sales teams that ESLT has assembled.”

ESLT has formed a board of advisors comprised of some of industry’s most experienced executives. Tom Plaskett, former chairman and CEO of Pan American Airways and Greyhound Lines, serves as chairman of this board. Other members include Allan McArtor, CEO of Airbus Group for North America and former administrator of the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency; Michael McMillan, who spent 40 years with the General Motors Research Center, where he was involved in developing advanced lubricants and certifying the engine oils for GM vehicles; and Tom Scott, a longtime executive vice president of The Warranty Group, with deep experience in the retail automobile industry.

The SpectrolTM Brand
SpectrolTM is a complete line of bulk and packaged lubricants formulated with premium quality base oils and proprietary additives for the automotive, commercial and industrial markets. Spectrol products meet or exceed all applicable API, ILSAC and manufacturer specifications and are specially engineered to meet the highest performance standards in the industry.

About ESL TEKnologies (ESLT)
ESLT (www.esltek.com) is a Dallas-based sales and marketing organization serving the 2.3 billion gallon U.S. lubricant industry. The firm is distinguished by its long-time advisors and investors, many of whom participated in a company formed in 2009 to develop lubricant technologies. That company was repositioned from technology development to sales and marketing in 2015, and recapitalized in 2017 as ESLT. Through various licensing arrangements, ESLT has access to advanced lubricant additive technology. As opportunities arise, ESLT plans to selectively apply these technologies via strategic partnerships with third parties, to provide differentiated lubricant products that meet identified needs in the marketplace.

About AMALIE Oil
AMALIE Oil (www.amalie.com) has its headquarters in Tampa. In December 2015, AMALIE acquired Delfin Group USA, a lubricant blending and packaging facility in North Charleston, SC, whose primary brand at the time was Spectrol.

Spectrol is a trademarked brand of AMALIE Oil Co.

Kleen Performance Products Announce a Price Increase

Kleen Performance Products notified its marketers that it will increase the price of its blended lubricant products by $0.60 to $0.80 a gallon. The increase takes effect immediately. Marketers are told the increase is due to continuing shifts in raw material economics and changes in supply and demand.

BioBlend Adds New Senior Executive

BioBlend PicBioBlend Renewable Resources, LLC announced today the addition of Len Badal to their senior executive team. As the demand for environmentally friendly lubricants grows, BioBlend is adding to its senior management team to foster further growth for the organization.

Len Badal

Len Badal, BioBlend

Len is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, and holds an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Rice University in Houston. Throughout his career Len has held a number of high-level positions with both Chevron and ExxonMobil and delivers a diverse range of experience that will aid BioBlend’s future growth.

“Len brings exceptional business experience and technical knowledge to BioBlend,” noted Sam Burkett, President of BioBlend. “BioBlend has grown significantly over the past three years and Len’s relationships with distributors, OEMs and end use customers will enable BioBlend to further accelerate that growth.”

BioBlend’s mission to provide consumers with cutting edge renewable and biobased products was a real motivator for Len’s decision to join the organization.

“It is exciting to be at the forefront of the next generation of lubricant development by joining the BioBlend team,” said Len. “We want to showcase that our lubricants can perform as well as, if not better than, traditional lubricants while helping reduce an end user’s environmental impact.”

As businesses and government entities across the world look to lessen their environmental impact and protect employees, BioBlend lubricants continues to innovate with new products that help organizations achieve their performance and sustainability goals.

About BioBlend
BioBlend is a leading manufacturer and marketer of bio-based industrial lubricants. The company provides environmentally responsible products and solutions to a variety of customers and industries around the world. For more information visit www.bioblend.com.

NORTH AMERICAN LUBRICANTS PARTNERS WITH PRESTONE

NAL will Market Prestone Antifreeze/Coolant and Chemicals

NAL_logo_stacked_2013North American Lubricants (NAL) today announced a strategic partnership with Prestone Products Corporation to market their automotive and heavy-duty antifreeze/coolants and chemicals. NAL will now market Prestone antifreeze/coolants through their national distributor channel, as well as installed retail and national fleet customers nationwide. As a complement to their premium lubricants line, NAL will be offering Prestone’s Prime automotive line and Command heavy-duty antifreeze/coolants.

“The choice to work with the #1 name in antifreeze was an easy decision,” according to NAL President, Aaron Read. “Metals used in cooling system components are different than what they were 10 years ago. Technology advancements in corrosion inhibitors and a rainbow of OEM colors have made coolant choices confusing. Prestone provides our customers innovation, the highest quality antifreeze/coolant products on the market and decision simplicity.”

Paul Pfauser, NAL Vice President explains, “Prestone Command Nitrite Free ELC provides a one size fits all application for mixed fleet operators, something that was unheard of a few years ago. Teaming up with Prestone simplifies and consolidates our customers’ coolant options.” “North American Lubricants, with their national distribution network and the quality of their national sales team, makes an excellent partner for us to grow our brand with,” said Bryan Kosusnik, Prestone Division Manager. “We are very excited about the opportunity to work with NAL.”

About North American Lubricants
Headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ, North American Lubricants (NAL) serves customers in 48 states through a national distribution network with manufacturing assets across the U.S. NAL’s management team has over a century of combined experience in the lubricant industry.  CLICK FOR MORE

 About Prestone Products Corporation
Headquartered in Chicago, IL, Prestone is a leading manufacturer of high quality antifreeze/coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid and other vehicle maintenance products. Prestone’s antifreeze/coolant has protected vehicle cooling systems since 1927, through nearly nine decades of evolving engine operations and cooling system demands. The company operates globally, with approximately 500 employees and four manufacturing plants. CLICK FOR MORE

Keep Your Ear to the Rail – Part II

CSXAs reported in JobbersWorld last week, base oil suppliers, lubricant manufacturers, distributors, and others in the lubricant supply chain have been challenged over the past two months to ship and receive product by rail, specifically CSX Rail (the country’s third largest railroad). This is because CSX is currently restructuring to rationalize infrastructure and consolidate operations. And while this is taking place, a number of base oil suppliers, lubricant manufacturers and others in the value chain tell JobbersWorld that they are experiencing delays, inconsistency, unpredictability, and longer than expected transit times when shipping by CSX.

In looking deeper into this issue, JobbersWorld has learned that some of the challenges stemming from the CSX reorganization are a result of regional cuts in personnel. We are told that this is particularly troubling when the cuts impact the number of employees that receive cars in the CSX yard and set the rail cars up on storage tracks for receiving by local short line. Whereas some of the yards used to be staffed to handle 60-80 cars in a day for delivery to its customers; with the reductions in employees, CSX is now reportedly only moving 35 to as few as 15 cars a day. This results in significant delays and in one instance a lubricant supplier says they lost a sale due to such delays.

TrainSwitchAlso of concern is that CSX has reportedly reduced the number of “hump” tracks it operates. Hump tracks are those used for storage and lining up rail cars to be pulled. One lubricant blender says that whereas in the past CSX used to have 10 hump tracks available, it cut that number in half at a location critical to its transportation. This has caused backup of cars being received. As a result, rail cars are sitting in other yards until there is enough track space to bring them forward.

Another concern reported to JobbersWorld is that CSX has changed some of its shipping patterns. As a result, unexpected delays are experienced when a rail car loaded with base oil or lubricants is sent north before going south to its intended destination.

Interestingly, some in the lubricants business are looking into moving product by US-flag shipping for moves between the East Coast and the Gulf as an alternative that before this time was not competitive.

So once again, keep your ear to the rail, because if the challenges in rail transport continue, there is a good chance the higher transportation costs will be passed down the rail to lubricant marketers and ultimately, the consumer.

Doug Rathbun, Bureau Chief for the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Weights & Measures to Speak at the PQIA Summit

Today, the Petroleum Quality Institute of America announced that Doug Rathbun will present at the upcoming PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit in Cleveland, Ohio and participate on the panel to discuss what is being done and what more can be done to address non-compliant/off spec lubricants in the market.

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Douglas Rathbun
Bureau Chief, Bureau of Weights and Measures, Illinois Department of Agriculture

Doug Rathbun is the Bureau Chief for the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Weights & Measures. As the Bureau Chief he oversees the inspection of all weighing and measuring devices in the State. His Bureau performs approximately 141,000 device inspections per year.

Mr. Rathbun also is responsible for the Metrology Laboratory and the motor fuel quality inspection program. Mr. Rathbun is the current Chairman of the Central Weights & Measures Association and serves on the Fuels & Lubrication subcommittee for the National Conference on Weights & Measures.

Thomas Glenn, President of the Petroleum Quality Institute of America says “The States of Illinois, Missouri, and Michigan’s participation in the PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit provides an excellent opportunity for lubricant manufacturers, marketers and others to hear about the actions the states are taking to protect consumers from non-compliant motor oil, ATF, and antifreeze. In addition, it gives those in our industry along with lubricant buyers and others an opportunity to dialog with the states about what more can be done to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market, and how we, as an industry, can help to make it happen.”

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Classifieds

Two Openings for Regional Sales Manager

WarrenDistributionBased in Omaha, NE, Warren Distribution is a family-owned and operated business dating back to 1922. We are North America’s leading independent blender and packager of lubricants, primarily for our customer’s proprietary brands, which we produce out of our plants in Council Bluffs IA, Glen Dale WV and Guntersville AL.

We have a well-earned reputation for being the best in quality, integrity and service. We have two openings for the Regional Sales Manager role that would support our existing Distributor Channel customers and identify, cultivate and close new accounts. Looking for someone with a solid track record of developing highly collaborative relationships with Distributor principals and their teams. Must have strong product knowledge and applications experience, especially in the Commercial and Industrial segments. Would work out of home office or one of our facilities. Flexible regards location, although preference is for Northeast, Southeast or South Central. If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to Mark Bezek at mbezek@wd-wpp.com.

Keep Your Ear to the Rail – Transportation Costs are Increasing

Keep Your Ear to the Rail

CSXWord on the street is that base oil suppliers, lubricant manufacturers, distributors, and others in the lubricant supply chain have been challenged over the past two months to ship and receive product by rail, specifically CSX Rail (the country’s third largest railroad). This is because CSX is currently restructuring to rationalize infrastructure and consolidate operations.

As is the case when many corporations restructure, there are bound to be some ripples. In the case of CSX, these ripples are reportedly resulting in delays, inconsistency, unpredictability, and longer than expected transit times. As a result, a number of suppliers in the lubricants value chain are feeling the pinch and say they are using alternative methods of transportation (tank trucks) to assure their customers’ needs are met. But whereas the alternative to rail is tank truck, for those involved in transportation, it’s no secret that moving 30,000 gallons by rail is significantly less expensive than transporting 7,500 gallons by tank truck. Further, when suppliers and buyers shift from rail to tank trucks, there are bound to be backups at terminals, and that too adds to costs.

So keep your ear to the rails, because if the challenges in rail transport continue, there is a good chance the higher transportation costs will be passed down the rail to lubricant marketers and ultimately, the consumer.

Ron Hayes Joins Other Distinguished Speakers at the PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit

Hayes will speak about the work the State of Missouri is doing to help protect consumers from obsolete and off-spec Tractor Hydraulic Fluids

ronhayes2

Ron Hayes
Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection

The Petroleum Quality Institute of America is pleased to announce that Ron Hayes, Director, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Division of Weights, Measures and Consumer Protection; and the Vice-chair of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) Fuels and Lubricants Subcommittee will speak at the 2017 PQIA Lubricant Quality Summit in Cleveland, OH on September 14, 2017.

The presentation by Hayes will provide information and insights about the work the State of Missouri is doing to help protect consumers from obsolete and off-spec Tractor Hydraulic Fluids (THF). In addition, Hayes will participate on the summit panel addressing what is being done and what more can be done to assure the quality and integrity of lubricants in the market.

CLICK FOR MORE ON THE PQIA LUBRICANT QUALITY SUMMIT

Update on the DG Class Action

Last week, a Missouri Federal judge rejected most of the arguments in Dollar General’s request to dismiss the class action suit alleging that Dollar General engaged in misleading sales and marketing tactics by selling obsolete motor oil adjacent to motor oils meeting current specifications. With the class action moves on.

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Classified

Two Openings for Regional Sales Managers

WarrenDistributionBased in Omaha, NE, Warren Distribution is a family-owned and operated business dating back to 1922. We are North America’s leading independent blender and packager of lubricants, primarily for our customer’s proprietary brands, which we produce out of our plants in Council Bluffs IA, Glen Dale WV and Guntersville AL. We have a well-earned reputation for being the best in quality, integrity and service.

We have two openings for the Regional Sales Manager role that would support our existing Distributor Channel customers and identify, cultivate and close new accounts. Looking for someone with a solid track record of developing highly collaborative relationships with Distributor principals and their teams. Must have strong product knowledge and applications experience, especially in the Commercial and Industrial segments. Would work out of home office or one of our facilities. Flexible regards location, although preference is for Northeast, Southeast or South Central. If interested, please send your resume and cover letter to Mark Bezek at mbezek@wd-wpp.com.

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