Crossing the finishing line

Fuel solutions

Tailored to the unique requirements of each venue, the company’s fuel solutions team provided bespoke turnkey solutions designed with environmental safety and seamless operation at the core. The company also ensured all users from golf buggies to forklifts could fill and go, with little need for intervention or days of training.

As the linchpin of the operation, WP’s Emily Hard, was seconded to LOCOG for six months, working full time at its head office in Canary Wharf where she co-ordinated the project and liaised with the Southampton-based project team.

Challenging times

“The biggest challenge was co-ordinating the team across 40 different venues, each with its own unique and challenging requirements,” explained WP LOCOG project manager, Lisette Norman. “At times we were unable to gain site access until the eleventh hour which meant set-up efficiency was paramount. Each member of our installation team played a vital role in achieving optimal venue performance, they should be proud of their accomplishments.

“Once each site was installed, the company also had the contract to maintain fuel levels throughout the games. With a team of drivers delivering a range of products and covering multiple sites, the working day was often long and the hours unsocial. This meant our drivers were required to work nights for a sustained period of time, a downside rewarded by the incredible team atmosphere and national pride that surrounded the Olympics.”

David Fairchild, WP’s managing director, added: “The triumph of our Olympic project has not only demonstrated our ability to perform on an international scale, but given us a newfound confidence that challenges tradition and leads innovation. Both the installation and delivery team were committed to pulling together to make the whole Games a success. I am proud of my team and our achievements, a victory reflected in the way the country pulled together to support our athletes.”

Game plan

Ideally located in south west London, Linton Fuel Oils was also heavily involved from the outset of the project in 2007, supplying fuel to a number of construction firms working on the Olympic site. “We were very fortunate as many of the companies involved were local businesses and already existing customers,” said sales director, Neil Flynn.

“Security was tight and fuel deliveries were restricted,” explained Neil. “We delivered fuel to two different sites – Olympic Park and Athletes Village, with holding points at Barking and Epping. Vehicles had to be booked in at the relevant holding point before a permit was issued. Each permit was accompanied by a specific time limit and if the vehicle got stuck in traffic and exceeded this limit, it was sent back to the holding point for a new permit.

“We had to structure the business accordingly and meticulously plan deliveries. Our vehicles were on site every day to accommodate both venues, which wasn’t really the best use of our time.

“During the games themselves, it was unbelievable. The government and media worked hard to keep people off the highways in central London, which in reality was the best thing for us. Many companies shut down entirely, there was very little traffic on the roads and there were no delivery restrictions in place so we were able to do our city deliveries quickly and easily. On the flip side deliveries outside London took longer and we were actually down on volumes for August as many customers closed for the duration of the Games.

“It was an amazing experience though to see the changes unfolding and be part of such a special event,” concluded Neil.

Marine mission

As part of an ongoing partnership with Scandinavian Bunkering, GB Oils’ supplied gas oil to the MoD police launches, Excalibur and the Endeavour, acting as patrol and support vessels for HMS Ocean, during the Games. The two vessels were also supplied with oil during the Queen’s Jubilee, demonstrating the distributor’s ability to meet demand during busy periods.

An outstanding contribution

A special mention goes to the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) head of policy for London, Natalie Chapman, who was presented with an award by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport for her outstanding contribution to the efficient operation of freight and logistics during the Games.

FTA chief executive, Theo de Pencier, commented: “We’re delighted that Natalie’s efforts on behalf of FTA members and the logistics industry as a whole have been recognised. Her hard work and dedication made a significant contribution to ensuring that deliveries could be made successfully during the Olympics.”