Fuelling the nation

Established in the aftermath of the Second World War, in Hamburg, in 1946 by Walter Hoyer as an independent, family run business, the HOYER Group has spent the last 70-plus years transforming itself into a global leader in providing specialist bulk logistics for the petroleum, chemical, gas and food industries. With annual turnover reaching a figure in excess of 1.1 billion euros, the group today employs over 6000 people in more than 115 countries.

One of those countries is the UK, where HOYER commenced operations in 1974 and now provides employment for some 1300 people across the country. “Upon opening for business, there was initially a heavy focus on chemicals in the UK,” begins Allan Davison, Operations Director for HOYER Petrolog UK. “In time, however, we grew particularly strong when it came to petroleum-based products, something which became much more prominent in the 1990s and 2000s when we secured several big contracts with some of the industry’s largest oil companies.”

For its part, Petrolog has been delivering petroleum products throughout Europe since the 1970’s, providing nationwide distribution today across 11 European countries, including the UK, through its extensive fleet of vehicles and drivers to a mix of traditional oil majors, independent oil companies and specialist fuel retailers. With the petroleum product market going through a period of change and restructuring, it is regional oil companies, wholesalers and specialist retailers that are seeing significant growth. In response to this, Petrolog is able to provide sophisticated full service logistics with which to manage customer stock, generate and handle orders, manage delivery planning and dispatch, and undertake physical execution. This complex range of services is provided in conjunction with retail fuels, commercial fuels, bio fuels, bitumen, heavy fuels, LPG, LNG and aviation fuel.

Among a number of important recent contract renewals that HOYER Petrolog UK has secured are those with the likes of BP and Shell for the delivery of fuel to their respective petrol stations. For Allan, there is a good reason why industry players of this level continue to turn to the company for these services. “The downstream fuels business has seen major change in the past five years,” he explains. “Many oil companies are now less vertically integrated, so the ability to be flexible between supply points is more critical than it was in the past. Furthermore, independent retailers have bought up large numbers of service stations with a resultant increase in focus on customer service, whilst at the same time a fall in the oil price has made the focus on cost even more acute. HOYER’s ability to focus and deliver on safety, flexibility, service and cost is what sets us apart from our competitors.

“Given HOYER’s scale as the UK market leader in retail fuels, our infrastructure is second to none, allowing us to be more flexible than any of our competitors and deliver the high level of service that is required,” Allan points out. “In addition to this, our IT systems allow us to monitor stock underground throughout the day, enabling us to flatten delivery profiles across our network, ensuring the fleet is optimised and efficient. Last, but by no means least, we also have an enviable reputation for a very high standard of training within the industry, underpinning safety as our absolute priority.”

Quite simply, when transporting hazardous goods, safety has to be the number one concern. HOYER takes its responsibility immensely seriously, reviewing its safety performance on a continuous basis and spending an increasing amount of time identifying ways of engineering problems out. Responsibility for safety performance is in the company’s management line and not ‘delegated’ to a central department, and it is this level of internal accountability that drives improved performance, whilst helping to sustain the safety culture that exists throughout the business.

In addition to being the market leader when it comes to retail fuels, the company has also established a similar position when it comes to bitumen distribution. “Approximately two years ago, we won a new contract with PUMA to run alongside our existing, long-standing relationship with TOTAL,” Allan states. “In this time, we have managed to develop a large ‘White Fleet’ bitumen business, allowing us to flex resources between contracts. This ensures our respective customers get industry leading customer service and high levels of efficiency.”

It is also Petrolog UK’s aim to establish a strong position in the business of delivering jet fuel to customers within the aviation industry. “It is no secret that, due to the improved fuel economy of modern vehicles and the introduction of new technology, that the long-term trend for road fuels is going to reduce,” Allan says. “While this occurs, we see aviation volumes continuing to grow. With our many years of expertise in both aviation bridging and ‘In-To-Plane’ delivery services, aviation fuel is an obvious target market for us. Going forward, we intend to strategically target specific airports that provide complementary volumes to our existing business and will be easily added into our operational infrastructure.”

In the coming months, it is the company’s intention to both consolidate and optimise its business, while also looking to capitalise on any exciting opportunities for growth within the markets for retail and commercial fuels, bitumen and aviation. “Our vision is to maintain and, where possible, grow our market leading positions, and continue to provide what the industry needs, which is outstanding safety, flexibility, service and efficiency,” Allan concludes.

HOYER Petrolog UK
The market leader in retail fuels
A fleet of over 430 trucks and 1000 drivers
Employing 1300 people in the UK