Biodiesel Driving Business to National Fleet

The sustainability trend has swept across the transportation and fuel industries in recent years. Biodiesel has helped G&D Integrated, a for-hire carrier, meet its own environmental goals and win business. 

Helping the Environment and Profits

G&D Integrated has found that sustainability is not only about its own goals, but also what it can do to meet its customers’ goals to be environmentally friendly.

“We’ve noticed that there are more and more customers asking us to participate in their sustainability efforts,” says Vince Buonassi, group manager of transportation programs at the for-hire carrier. “We’ve actually been awarded freight based on our biodiesel usage.”

Those customers are found worldwide and do business in heavy equipment manufacturing and parts fulfillment, agricultural machinery, automotive parts and components, food containers and food packaging.

Located in central Illinois, G&D Integrated’s services include transportation, warehousing, and distribution and logistics. On the transportation side, it offers point-to-point hauling, dedicated contract carriage, ocean container drayage and freight brokerage.

Its fleet of 430 vehicles travels up to 26 million miles annually. The diesel-powered units run year-round on a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel, which is known as B20.

Biodiesel has been key not only in the company’s sustainability efforts but also in growing its business. For instance, biodiesel usage is showing up in some RFPs and, Buonassi says, has been “directly related” to the company winning bids. It also has helped G&D Integrated strengthen its relationship with East Coast ports that want to reduce their carbon footprint.

“Many of our customers analyze their entire supply chain for environmental impact, and some have even gone as far as incorporating sustainability into their purchasing departments,” he says.

Significant carbon reduction

The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from G&D’s use of biodiesel is equal to nearly 230,000 fewer gallons of gasoline consumed each year. Particulate matter is reduced by 2,854 pounds annually. The numbers come from the B20 Club, a program from the Illinois Soybean Association and the American Lung Association.

“We’re talking a material difference here,” Buonassi says.

G&D Integrated started using biodiesel several years ago after its fuel supplier, Ag-Land FS Inc., introduced the company to the fuel.

“They were claiming that this product would not only cost us less money but also would not result in any efficiency losses,” Buonassi says.

He has found that to be true and says biodiesel has not caused G&D Integrated to increase its rates.

Fuel that performs

G&D Integrated started with a B11 blend before quickly moving up to B20. Each time, it rigorously tested the fuel.

“What we observed was there was absolutely zero degradation in performance,” Buonassi says.

In fact, biodiesel added lubricity. It has also performed well in cold weather. Buonassi credits partnering with a quality vendor like Ag-Land FS to getting a good product. The fuel comes from REG.

“A company like REG has production facilities that make top-of-the-line, quality-controlled biodiesel,” he says. “And they’re sourcing different forms of feedstock that go through testing before being converted to the end product.”

It’s an end product that Buonassi credits with helping G&D Integrated stay ahead of the curve.

“There’s really no sense in fighting the tide of sustainability,” he says. “A lot of other truck carriers will. At G&D, we feel it's our duty to be good environmental custodians, and it makes business sense for us.”

The Bottom Line

Environment

G&D Integrated's biodiesel use reduces:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of 230,000 gallons of gasoline annually
  • More than 2,800 pounds of particulate matter

Performance

No drop in fleet performance compared with petroleum diesel.
Uses up to a B20 blend in cold weather.

Business

G&D Integrated has been awarded business because of biodiesel use.

Watch: G&D Integrated Explains Biodiesel Benefits

Before G&D Integrated fully embraced biodiesel, it extensively tested how it's fleet performed. See the results.

REG's Fuel Services

AN INTERNATIONAL COMPANY KNOWN FOR PRODUCING FUEL NOW DELIVERS FUEL IN ITS OWN BACKYARD.

REG fuel being delivered

 

The fuel delivery service of Renewable Energy Group (REG) has a 90-year tradition, even though it’s a new part of the company.

How so?

In 2018, REG acquired Keck Energy, a Des Moines-based company that had been supplying fuel to central Iowa farmers, fleets, municipalities, convenience stores and other customers since 1927. REG, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, is North America’s largest producer of biodiesel and a provider of blended fuels.

“REG brings technology — like its technical service team, labs and R&D work — and extensive experience with biofuels. Combined with Keck’s longevity and customer service, it was a really good match,” says Joel Collinson, Manager, Fuel Operations, REG, who started working at Keck Energy in 1997.

The emphasis remains on providing outstanding customer service and delivering high-quality, cost-effective products.

“People have a choice every day on how they buy fuel, where they buy fuel,” says Adam Sander, Director, REG. “So we understand we have to service our customers in a great fashion every day and earn the business on a daily basis.”

REG'S FUEL SERVICES
  • Delivers in central Iowa
  • Offers gasoline, ethanol blends, diesel, biodiesel, biodiesel blends and additives
  • Delivers loads from 250 gallons to 8,500 gallons
  • Provides tanks and bulk fuel storage
  • Continuing a 90-year tradition

EXTENSIVE FUEL OFFERINGS

REG delivers diesel, gas, various blends of biodiesel and ethanol, and additives throughout central Iowa. Customers include farms, private fleets, public fleets, convenience stores and some smaller fuel users like golf courses.

In addition to its fleet picking up fuel at terminals, REG has a bulk plant in Des Moines for storing different grades of gasoline, diesel and biodiesel.

“This helps ensure that we have supply on hand and that our trucks can get it to our customers in a timely manner,” Sander says.

A product customers are increasingly interested in is a higher blend of biodiesel such as B20, which is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

“The petroleum business has morphed,” Collinson says. “More fleets, and the general public, want to help the environment. Biodiesel helps reduce emissions and ash output, and it also has higher Cetane and lubricity than petroleum diesel.”

BESIDES FUEL DELIVERY, REG OFFERS:

Fuel tank rental — Tanks range from 500 to 2,000 gallons and are especially popular with construction companies, as well as with operations that want the efficiency of filling up at their home base but don’t want to invest in a larger tank of their own.

Inventory management — Both manual monitoring of tanks and a system by which tank levels can be tracked remotely.

Pricing options — Including fixed-price or indexed contracts.

YOUR FUEL PARTNER

Ultimately, it’s providing better customer service and forming close relationships that differentiates REG from the competition.

“We’re a smaller company for a gas and diesel supplier,” says Tim Munford, an REG truck driver. “You’re going to know the drivers’ first names, you’re going to know us as people, and we’re going to know you and help you with your tanks and make sure everything’s going well.”

That personal touch is combined with experience, expertise and quality.

“Choosing REG as a fuel supplier makes a lot of sense because we have the experience, and we have fuel solutions for all types of customers,” Sander says.

“Their businesses depend on getting high-quality fuel that will allow them to run their operations at a very cost-effective price. That’s what we’re dedicated to doing on a day-in and day-out basis. We’ll do whatever it takes to ensure our customers get what they need.”

 

 


 

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