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REPORT: UAE fuel price hikes risk fleet operator profits

on Oct 5, 2017


David Nicholls, VP of situational awareness and telematics, Restrata.
David Nicholls, VP of situational awareness and telematics, Restrata.

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By: David Nicholls, VP of situational awareness and telematics, Restrata

The UAE has experienced rising fuel prices month on month since the start of summer, and at present this trend shows no sign of stopping.

In a statement at the end of September, the ministry announced the per-litre prices of Super 98 at Dh2.12 from Dh2.02 (up 4.95%); Special 95 at Dh2.01 from Dh1.90 (up 5.79%); E Plus-91 for Dh1.94 from Dh1.83 (up 6.01%).

The diesel price has been fixed at Dh2.10 per litre for October, increased from Dh2 per litre in September.

For fleet operators, these price hikes have a serious impact on profits, driving the quest for improved efficiency in multiple areas of the business. Technology is being introduced as a solution in the key areas we all talk about regularly, such as increasing deliveries per vehicle, optimizing routes, improving vehicle maintenance schedule management, and of course improving safety.

However, with fuel now akin to gold dust, how is your business monitoring fuel usage and potentially, fuel theft? More importantly, how might your fuel be being stolen?

Drivers and personnel who have access to fuel can be tempted to steal it, causing an acute problem for organisations both large and small. The inability to monitor your fuel and prevent theft can lead to significant financial loss.

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There a multitude of methods that can be used to steal fuel, and effectively profit at the expense of the business. However, with a few tweaks to your existing fleet management system, or the introduction of a new tool, technology can help mitigate the risk of theft.

Some of the main ways you might be pouring fuel down the drain include staff draining fuel directly from the tank. When fuel consumption is overestimated, drivers are provided with an opportunity to drain off the excess fuel provided, simply by putting a hose inside the tank. Monitoring technology will register the volume, date and time of refueling to ensure that there is a data record of the exact fuel added and time period of consumption.

Secondly, most vehicles and machinery are equipped with a supply and return line. This method of draining fuel requires the driver to add a T-fitting on the return line, allowing the collection of all fuel which should return to the tank. Having the right sensors in place allows you to monitor the flow of both the supply and return lines, meaning you can monitor consumption via both.

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