Saturday, June 15, 2024

Unitrans enhances last-mile fuel delivery with state-of-the-art technology


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Leading supplier in bulk tanker fuel transportation and supply chain solutions, Unitrans, is optimising supply chains by leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance last-mile fuel delivery to forecourts, leading the charge towards greater efficiency, safety, and customer satisfaction.

Unitrans has invested in safe and cost-effective solutions to ensure fuel is delivered promptly and efficiently to the correct destination under optimal conditions – all while adhering rigorously to stringent regulations and legislation.

“Operating over 1 000 tankers and facilitating the transportation of more than 4 billion litres of fuel annually, Unitrans operates with state-of-the-art technology,” says Edwin Hewitt, Unitrans CEO.

“The company leverages technology to address the numerous challenges faced during last-mile deliveries to forecourts. These include vehicles navigating tight spaces with complex cargo, inaccurate tank measurements, product contamination, skill deficiencies, and ongoing labour-intensive manual procedures.”

Delivering innovation

In fuel supply chains, there is no room for error. Unitrans has implemented Bartec, an electric control and metering system designed for fuel tankers, to enhance efficiency and minimise errors.

“This innovative system features electronic barriers that prevent overloading and incorrect discharge into forecourt tanks. Moreover, it optimises flow and load rates, leading to quicker turn-around times for vehicles, that in turn drives down cost,” says Martin Loubser, Executive for Specialised Bulk at Unitrans.

Additionally, the company has implemented a multi-hose loading system for efficient loading and discharge of products.

At gantries, two hoses are used for simultaneously loading diesel and petrol into compartments in a single tanker, improving loading times from 90 minutes to only 30 minutes.

At the forecourt, the introduction of three discharge pipes has significantly reduced offloading time from 120 minutes to 45 minutes.

Furthermore, implementing various “sign-on glass” technologies across its bulk fuel operations has improved communication and efficiency.

These are simple, easy-to-use technologies that replace the paperwork associated with Proof of Delivery (POD) processes.  SMS notifications provide real-time updates on loading progress, departure, and arrival times and capture delivery confirmations and recipient signatures.

Moreover, immediate electronic transmission after delivery has expedited customer invoicing. These technological solutions have streamlined the order-to-cash cycle, reducing it by up to two days.

“Enhancing customer satisfaction and boosting margins for transporters in a challenging fuel economy demands a sustained commitment to innovation and efficiency.

Our company is pro-actively utilising mechanical and electronic technologies, both in our vehicles and at the forecourt.

By collaborating closely with key partners, we are improving last-mile logistics through streamlined operations and enhanced service delivery,” concludes Loubser.

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