Compass Fuel Oils: a new depot facilitates further growth

Compass Fuel Oils is a fuel distribution business based in Penwortham, Lancashire. Formed in 2009, Compass Fuel is an independent, nationwide fuel oil supplier who is proud to announce that they have now officially opened their brand-new depot.

Compass Fuel Oils: a new depot facilitates further growth

Claudia Weeks, content lead for Fuel Oil News, spoke with Marcus Dandy, managing director at Compass Fuel Oils.

The history of Compass Fuel Oils

Marcus began by explaining a little about the background of the business and how it all began: “The business was originally started in 2009 by Nick Heath solely as a broker and relied upon third party suppliers to fulfil the orders. Once we were more established, we started to invest in our own vehicles to distribute fuel oil.

“Over time we have morphed into a wet depot, where we are now storing over 400,000 litres of fuel and running 12 delivery vehicles. We have also grown to employ a staff of 22 including Bella Bumble, the office Labradoodle!

“We celebrated our 10th anniversary back in 2019, so we’ll soon be having a small celebration for our 15th anniversary next February.

“Our key milestones of growth during this time have certainly been switching from a broker to wet depot, the constant year on year growth and, of course, our recent depot move!”

The new depot

Compass Fuel Oils has recently completed its brand-new depot and it looks fantastic! Claudia asked Marcus to share more about the build: “Our previous depot was located on an old farm and offered little in the way of growth, so eventually we had to look at relocating the business.

“As is often the case with these things, the planning permission took well over 12 months to get approval, and the construction of the new yard took another 6 months before it could be operational. The new location is significantly larger and has allowed us to expand our storage and loading facilities, as well as being closer to motorway links. We are now able to offer white and red diesel and HVO, industrial heating oil (Furnace Flame / Ultra 35) and C2 kerosene and C1 paraffin.

“We are currently looking to increase our contractual work to secure the foundations of the business, and then who knows what the future holds, perhaps an additional depot location further down the line!”

The customer

Marcus explains more about the Compass customers: “The primary focus for the business has always been on commercial users and I believe we have been incredibly successful at growing our long-term customer base.

“Our domestic and agricultural markets have both grown steadily over the years, mainly through word of mouth and increased awareness of the brand.

“I think customers choose us as their supplier because we’re open and honest about our level of service and pricing structures from the get-go.

“We actively try to educate our customers that there’s no single company that can offer the best service, with the quickest delivery, at the cheapest price (despite the many wild claims out there!). If we do get something wrong, we’re often able to offer the customer a plan B, to avoid them having to approach others for a solution.”

Working in the fuel distribution business

Fuel Oil News asked Marcus some quick-fire questions about working in this industry:

1.           What have you enjoyed the most about operating in fuel distribution?

              “This industry constantly encounters new challenges to keep everybody on their toes –  everything from extreme weather conditions through to the conflict in Ukraine, and then throw in a global pandemic for good measure and you’ve got a constantly changing environment to try and adapt to. I wouldn’t go as far as to say no two days are the same, but you get the idea!”

2.           Tell us about your most memorable day at work…

              “The most memorable days seem to be the most stressful, but there have definitely been good memories and friendships made here!”

3.           What is the best piece of advice you have been given in this industry?

              “Taking the honest approach to dealing with mistakes is often the best way of resolving things.”

4.           What has been your proudest accomplishment in the business?

              “The recent depot move has been incredibly challenging (and stressful) for everybody involved.  I’m incredibly proud of how well the staff have settled into their new surroundings and how everyone has made it an enjoyable place to come to work.”

The future for fuel

“It’s incredibly clear the industry is making big strides towards becoming greener,” Marcus comments, reflecting on the future of the industry. “We are excited to be in a strong position to be able to begin offering customers future fuels such as HVO, whilst also keeping one eye on green hydrogen to expand into new markets.

“As is the case for most other distributors, we’re awaiting the support from government to make HVO more attractive to domestic customers and envisage a big push towards green fuels.”

Fuel Oil News wishes Marcus and the team at Compass Fuel Oils all the best for their new depot and look forward to hearing about their 15th anniversary celebrations next year!