LIKE BING CROSBY IN THAT CHRISTMAS PERENNIAL MANY FUEL DISTRIBUTORS ARE DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS….
…..or to be more accurate one of those very dry, frosty, bitterly cold winters with no snow thus ensuring that tankers can deliver ‘shed loads of kero’ swiftly and safely without the additional hazards of snow drifts.
To kick start the flood of orders, snow is needed says one Cumbrian distributor who said that just a glimpse of a light dusting of snow motivates people to place an order’.
Looking back fondly on the snowy winters of 2009 and 2010, Louisa Haden at Hingley & Callow said:
‘It was a nightmare at the time but after recent mild winters, you have to ask is this it now? We’ve put things in place for a cold winter and we’re full to the gunwales with kero!’ Also well-stocked at Ribble Fuel Oils, David Hodge added: ‘we just need the weather – nice and cold for three months – to stimulate those sales’.
Baby, it’s not cold enough outside
Among others with lower temperatures as their perfect Christmas present were – Richard Bates at Oakley Fuel Oils who requested ‘20 degrees of frost and some cold easterlies – 16C in November is no good to anyone!’ ; it was ‘minus 10C with no snow’ for Peter Bamber at Henty Oil; and up north ‘a long, hard winter at a constant minus 5C with no more than an inch of snow’ and the same again in Scotland ‘some cold weather I think’ said Oilfast’s Stephen Anderson..
Although kero business had ‘just picked up’ at Manx Petroleum on the Isle of Man, David Kay also asked for the delivery of ‘a long, cold winter with no snow’. A request echoed by Rob Ormond at Tincknell Fuels who said if the white stuff did drift down, snow shoes for drivers and tankers would also be good.
Oil – not such a dirty word these days
‘We’ve been really quiet; November is normally much busier than this’ said Ceinwen Anglesea at HW Humphries, although on a positive note – ‘when customers do order, they’re now ordering more due to lower prices, meaning volumes are better.’
The price of oil has brought glad tidings of great joy to many.
‘Oil is not such a dirty word these days,’ said Richard Bates. As a Christmas present for the industry, Richard chose ‘the continuation of very sensible oil prices – high prices were doing us a lot of damage. The low oil price has been an absolute boon for the industry and I’m chuffed to bits.’
Among other desirable Christmas presents for fuel distributors were
- ‘plenty of money’ and a ‘pay rise’
- Simplifying the Working Time Directive
- The survival of the small family-owned business which is ‘becoming a rare beast these days’
- Technology that works and is easier to understand and use
- The need for every wet depot to comply with the FPS fuel certification scheme and meet a good standard in order to operate
- The removal of the Petroleum Driver Passport – ‘it’s bad enough having all that red tape from Europe without an extra layer coming from your own country!’
- A plea to bring back the personalities in the industry – all those characters who have been replaced by men in suits…
In the bleak mid winter?
Fuel Oil News also liked Par Petroleum’s suggestion of George Clooney or a month in the Caribbean – perhaps even better together? Par concurred with the majority vote of ‘a nice, long, consistently cold winter with not too much of the white stuff’.
Too snowy for most, December 2010 was our coldest winter for over 100 years. To have the perfect winter we would need a repeat of the great frosts in the 17th/18th centuries, illustrated above, when you could have probably taken a tanker down the Thames!
As all those above and Northern Energy’s Howard Illingworth says ‘it may seem obvious but a long, cold winter is what we all want’.