Detailing the 10 Essential Elements of a Favorable Fuel Supplier Agreement, Part 2
By John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, Principals, Aviation Business Strategies Group
Previously, we talked about three of the 10 essential elements of a favorable fuel supplier agreement: Term of agreement, pricing methodology, and transportation and delivery. A favorable fuel supplier agreement is one of the six intangibles that can build equity in your FBO.
For this blog post, we'll break down three additional elements of the favorable fuel supplier agreement and provide insight and tips to help you protect your business while adding intrinsic value.
The location of fuel terminals is essential to understanding the transportation cost element of every gallon of fuel you purchase from your supplier. When you talk to your fuel supplier you should establish both a primary and secondary fuel terminal for distribution of your Jet fuel. You need to make sure that the terminals have the storage capability for your product as well as locations within a reasonable distance of your FBO. Know the cost of transportation from each of the terminals as well as any surcharges and extra waiting expense. The cost per mile can be different for each common carrier; therefore, you need to manage this cost. Of course, your fuel supplier may want to assure themselves of good quality control by the carriers, but most all common carriers of aviation fuel are aware of quality control issues and utilize dedicated trucks and trailers. Avgas may come from a long distance due to the limited refinery capacity in the United States. Therefore, the cost of transportation for this fuel type may not be as negotiable as the cost for Jet-A.
Did you know the credit terms provided in your fuel agreement can be negotiated? Providing good financial statements is the primary key and can assist you in discussions with your fuel supplier. It is standard practice today to use electronic payment methods for fuel and reimbursements back to you of your credit card receipts. This system assures both the FBO and the fuel supplier of prompt payments in accordance with your negotiated credit terms.
Taxes: Federal, LUST, State, Local and Flowage Fees
There are five taxes you have to deal with in your fuel agreement: Federal, state, local, LUST and flowage fees. You can’t do much about the fees set by the federal, state and local governments. The flowage fee is a “tax” because it is imposed by your airport authority. An FBO can try to negotiate the flowage fee with the airport authority, but in many cases it is set by the local government and you just have to pass it along to your customer. There are two methods of payment for flowage fees. The first, and most common, is paid based upon the amount of fuel delivered into storage, and the second method is based upon the amount of fuel pumped into wing.
Keep in mind that there are many factors and nuances, and we will not be able to expound on all of them in the framework of a blog. Therefore, we encourage you to attend our next NATA FBO Success Seminar, March 8-9 in New Orleans, where we spend additional time and discussion on these important topics as well as others.
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About the bloggers:
John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or absggroup.com for more background.