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Quarterly Buzz P. 20 Are You Prepared for the “Near Me” Search Revolution? P. 28

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TFFA YEAR IN REVIEW P.11


WE NEED YOU TO WALK THE HALLS OF THE TEXAS CAPITOL WITH FELLOW INDUSTRY STAKEHOLDERS TO CHAMPION OUR CAUSE. OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE IS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE YOUR BUSINESS CONTINUES TO THRIVE.


#TFFASUMMIT

REGISTRATION IS FREE, THE EXPERIENCE IS PRICESSLESS.

REGISTER ONLINE: WWW.TFFA.COM


Features:

Timeline:

 TCEQ-Approved

    

 Mobile Friendly  Video-Based Training  Time Efficient  Straight Forward Quizzes

 No Final Exam  Custom Portals Available  Class A/B UST Training  $125/person (TFFA)

 $100 for more than 10  $90 for more than 50

 Class C UST Training  $10/person

Regs Amended 5/31/18 Course Approved 9/14/18 Course Ready 9/17/18 Retraining by 1/1/2020 Additional REQs by 1/1/2021

Details:  texas.ustcourse.com  Contacts  Andy Tait • •

atait@tait.com (469) 709-2201

• • •

tbates@tait.com (469) 709-2202 USTCourse@TFFA.com

 Tori Bates

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

CONTENTS TEXAS FOOD & FU E L M AGA Z IN E

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18

30

AT M AT M

26

12

18

26

30

CASHFLOW STRATEGIES

DESIGN PROFILE: GOURMET MARKET

ANTI-SURCHARGE LAW TAKES A HIT

CHAIN REACTION

9 steps to more cash at year-end.

WWW.TFFA.COM

The right concept, the right location, and the right design.

Federal court rules Anti-Surcharge Law as unconstitutional.

The impact of technology on supply chain management.

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RS

R 26 YE E A OV

IN

TEXAS

Our parts department has you covered bumper to bumper! (800) 551-8265 2650 FM 1516 Converse, TX 78109

info@wertswelding.com www.wertswelding.com WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

Editorial

Board of Directors

Editor, Layout & Design, Digital & Print Production, and Advertising Sales Jesus Azanza 512.617.4309 jazanza@tffa.com

Officers: Cary Rabb*, Round Rock WAG·A·BAG™ Chairman

Texas Food & Fuel Association Staff Paul Hardin, CAE President/CEO phardin@tffa.com Jesus Azanza Dir. of Marketing & Business Development jazanza@tffa.com Rick Bolner, CPA Vice President of Accounting rbolner@tffa.com Matt Burgin Director of Government Relations mburgin@tffa.com Scott B. Fisher Senior VP of Policy & Public Affairs sfisher@tffa.com Dana Fuller, CEM Director of Expo & Events dfuller@tffa.com Annette Hicks, CMP Vice President of Meetings & Expositions ahicks@tffa.com Kris Wallace Assistant Director of Finance kwallace@tffa.com

Dan Baker*, San Angelo Regal Oil Company Vice Chairman Steve Fryar*, Brownwood P.F. & E. Oil Company Secretary Steve Boyd*, Houston Suncoast Resources Treasurer Madalyne Lange*, Sherman Immediate Past Chairman Don Grissom, Austin General Counsel Paul Hardin, CAE, Austin Texas Food & Fuel Association President Region Directors: Robert Eggleston*, Midland Penta Operating, LLC Region A

Matt Judson, Corsicana Winters Oil Partners L.P. District X Nathan Winkelmann, Brenham Buccaneer Food Store District XI Ed Morgan, Nacogdoches Morgan Oil Company District XII

Don Broach*, Bryan BRENCO Marketing Corp. Region C

John Hebert, Liberty John J. Hebert Distributor District XIV

Terry Tesch*, Lake Jackson R.B. Stewart Petroleum Products, Inc. Region D

Phil Wuest, McQueeney Wuest’s, Inc. District XV

District Directors: Neil McCarty, Lubbock Kendrick Oil Company, Friona District I

Carlos Garza, Edinburg La Lomita, Inc. District XVI

Subscriptions are included in the dues paid by Texas Food & Fuel Association member companies.

Joy Garcia, Mineral Wells Connel Oil Corp. District III

WWW.TFFA.COM

Nelson Grona, San Antonio Bear Oil Company District IX

Clay Johnson, Austin Tex-Con Oil Company District XIII

Sarah McKinnon, Lubbock Walker Sims Oil Co. District II

©2018 Texas Food & Fuel Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the written consent of the publisher.

Mike Kittrell, Parker Carter Energy Company District VIII

Lance Davis*, Bonham McCraw Oil Company Region B

The Texas Food & Fuel Magazine is published quarterly by the Texas Food & Fuel Association, Austin, Texas, USA.

Subscription requests: Texas Food & Fuel Association 401 W. 15th Street, Suite 510 Austin, TX 78701 P 800.460.8662 F 512.477.4239 info@tffa.com

Kyle Kirby, Fort Worth Advance Petroleum Distributing Co., Inc. District VII

Paul Masters, El Paso Mogas, Inc. District IV Mike Hennings, San Angelo Tres Amigos C-Stores District V Aaron Nilsson, Daingerfield W.O.I. Petroleum, Inc. District VI

Doug Staton, Austin Arnold Oil Company Fuels, LLC District XVII Jake Marsico, Dickinson Bay Oil, Co. District XVIII Directors at Large Marketers: Justin Parrott, Dallas Ranparr, Inc. John Prickette, Sulphur Springs Grocery Supply Company Imad Sarkis, Beaumont Tri-Con, Inc. Jeff Scarbrough, Clovis, NM Allsups Petroleum, Inc.

Wes Scott, San Antonio Arguindegui Oil Co., Ltd Bobby Warren, Sherman Douglass Distributing Directors at Large Suppliers: Buster Cage, Whitney Republic Tobacco Michael Lawshe, Fort Worth Paragon Solutions, Inc. Wolfgang Manz, Houston PWM Price Signs Tim Miller, Kingwood Ascentium Capital, LLC Richard Rogers Texas TransEastern, Inc. Darrell Shulte, Austin Blue Bell Creameries Past Chairmen Serving on the Board of Directors: Eddie Bates C&I Oil Company Rodney Fischer Midtex Oil, L.P. Gary Garrison Fred Garrison Oil Company Rick Golman QW Transport LLC Gary Johnson Johnson Brothers Oil Company Jim Kolkhorst* Kolkhorst Petroleum Co. Terry Maxey Maxey Energy Company Andy Olmstead* Chapman, Inc. Randy Parrott Ranparr, Inc. Doug Phillips Regal Oil, Co. *Serves on Executive Committee **Serves on Board Board Term: July 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018

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POW ER ED BY T HE TE X A S F O O D & F U E L A S S O C IAT IO N

WWW.SW-EXPO.COM

EXHIBIT HALL HOURS

May 15 4 - 6:30 pm

E ST TIM R I F A ERE’S

May 16 11 am - 4 pm

HING.

ERYT FOR EV

TH

Browse the interactive floorplan online: www.sw-expo.com/floorplan

THE ULTIMATE C-STORE & FUEL MARKETING EVENT!


TFFA

THE MOST SECURE GAS STATION ON THE BLOCK.

PSI has the technology, equipment, software and everything else you need to keep your store and your customers safe. Custom Dispenser Locks Reinforced Lower Dispenser Doors Encrypted Pulsers Real-Time Door Alarms Tank Monitoring Secure Zone Router EMV & NFC Technology LED Lights Skimmer Inspections

No one does safety better. for more info email: sales@petsolinc.com


Don’t lose it.

Use it! COLLEGE EXPENSES STRESSING YOU OUT? TFFA CAN HELP!

Academic scholarships are available to high school seniors seeking higher education. Use the award to pay tuition, buy books, or to cover other educational expenses. Eligible students are children of Texas Food & Fuel Association marketer or supplier members, or their employees.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MAR 29, 2019

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

FEB

JAN

Industry Happenings 21-24

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo Marriott Marquee San Diego Marina San Diego, CA

3-5

SIGMA Executive Leadership Conference Westin Snowmass Resort Snowmass Village, CO

11-13 TFFA Legislative Summit DoubleTree Suites Downtown Austin Austin, TX

19-21 2019 WPMA EXPO

MAR

The Mirage Hotel Las Vegas, NV

12-13 NACS Day on the Hill Intercontinental Washington D.C. - The Wharf Washington, DC 20024

26-28 MPACT Indiana Convention Center Indianapolis, IN

WWW.TFFA.COM

It is hard to believe that listed on this page are 2019 events — which are right around the corner. Thanks to you and your support of TFFA, the association accomplished a number of efforts this year, including: • A new strategic plan that is focused on the principal of preserving the core while stimulating progress. The new strategic plan is the guiding document by which all decisions regarding TFFA are made. • The development of a 2 hour Class A/B UST Operator online training course — the shortest certification course of its kind in Texas. • An overhaul of the Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo with the introduction of the Experience Zone — an engagement center featuring 26 expertdriven and peer-lead learning labs. •

Streamlined communication through the development of the new TFFA PAC website, new online chat feature, new weekly e-newsletter, and new text messaging service, all geared towards communicating better with membership.

Providing hundreds of hours of technical expertise in the development and implementation of critical industry regulations with agencies such as TDA, TCEQ, TABC, Comptroller’s Office and more.

In addition to these accomplishments that have benefited your business, your membership continues to grant access to news and information, discounted event and product rates, legislative and regulatory resources, leadership opportunities, and much more! The bottom line is, without you, TFFA does not exist. The organization works diligently on your behalf, every single day. Our continued commitment to you is to provide a greater ROI on your membership investment, year after year. Happy Holidays, and we look forward to serving you in 2019.

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texas food & fuel magazine

9 STEPS TO MORE CASH AT YEAR-END

Imagine ending the year with a fat bank account, no balance on your bank line of credit, comfortably meeting all supplier, tax, and payroll obligations, and just for good measure, prepaying some mortgage debt just because you can. Now back to today. You likely ended last year with a fairly lean bank account, a painful memory of a few of your tax payment days, playing roulette at times with your bank line, and not even considering the idea of paying off any mortgage debt early because you didn’t have the cash. So how do you get from where you were at December 31 to that cash rich utopian position first described? You do it by taking these steps: WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

1 Analyze the profit contribution of the individual components of your business. This means you must segregate your stores, your inventory, etc. If your current accounting set-up doesn’t allow you to do this, call your vendor and tell them what you want. All of the reputable GL software on the market has this ability. Identify any areas that are losing money and therefore draining your cash. You won’t be able to reach that cash-rich position you want so badly without either making those sectors profitable or getting rid of them. Ultimately, sale of the losers is usually the best win-win position — you get the benefit of immediate cash from the sale plus your monthly cash drain is instantly cured.

2 For profitable sectors, drill down one more step to individual units and/or trucks. Figure out which units make money, which don’t and then determine why. Again, commit to the hard decision of either getting each one profitable or getting rid of the unprofitable culprits.

3 Analyze individual customer profitability. This entails more than just a gross margin assessment of each customer, although that’s a good starting place. Do a net profit analysis by factoring in payment trends, holding cost of money, sales calls, and that more nebulous “hassle” factor. You know, the customers that drive your staff crazy. Staff time is money. Use the same hard-nosed approach with your customers as you did with your sectors and units. Each one must be profitable. Try to make losers profitable through increased margins or service fees. If you can’t make them profitable, allow them to take their business elsewhere.

4 Analyze the efficiency of all of your core business processes. (This means you must first identify each of your core business processes!) Unfortunately, we all have a tendency to lie to ourselves about how well we’re doing in the efficiency department. You may think you have a certain process, for instance dispatch, down to a science. You know it’s a whole lot better than a few years ago. In reality, however, your dispatch may be much less efficient than your competitors. The only way to know how you are really doing is to benchmark yourself against others in the industry. Benchmarking should also include your staffing levels. It’s easy for process inefficiency to be coupled with too many people.

5 Pay close attention to receivables, payables and inventory management. A company’s competency (or lack thereof) in these three areas of operations will dictate cash on hand. If you lack cash now and want to have a fat cash bank balance by year end, you will likely need to: • shorten your terms

• collect all accounts by EFT

• only extend credit to people that can pay

• monitor customer creditworthiness regularly

• pay sales commissions on collected dollars • negotiate supplier prices • negotiate supplier terms • reduce inventory levels by eliminating slow movers and using a just-in-time approach on the items that sell well

WWW.TFFA.COM

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texas food & fuel magazine

6 Scrutinize your balance sheet for any non-producing assets. If you find any, either sell them or put them to work producing income and profits. Don’t just let them sit there! All the stuff business owners typically forget they even have can easily add up to six-figures or more.

7 Analyze your debt structure and what it’s costing you. If you are not involved in any acquisition or expansion projects, your best use of any spare daily cash is reduction in your short-term debt. Another cash-producing debt strategy is to consolidate your loans and drive down your interest costs through tough loan bidding and negotiating. It is still a borrower’s market out there, so take advantage of it while you can. This doesn’t mean, however, to over-leverage. All that does is produce a one-time cash infusion that you pay dearly for over many years of payments!

8 Watch your spending. When you buy new assets, make sure they are producing assets. When you do buy new assets, finance them appropriately, which normally means using 75% financing.

9 Create new sources of revenue and income streams. What better time than now to get your business thinking out of the box. Maybe it’s time for you to jump into software, equipment, dispatching service, customer education, or ???? Remember that great quote, “If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.” If you want to make a serious change in your cash position, it may take a serious change in your business with entry into new products or even markets.

FINAL THOUGHT: To boost your cash, you don’t even need to do all of these steps. If you just seriously commit to at least five of the nine steps, working at them diligently throughout the year, you will see a major positive change in your cash position!

About Meridian Associates, Inc. Since 1991, Meridian has provided insight and services to over 3,900 petroleum marketers, growing and expanding their market share, while increasing their cash flow and profits. Being the leading petro valuation provider in the nation, Meridian is also trusted for buy/sell transactions. To find out what Meridian can do for you visit www.AskMeridian.com or call us 800-728-9005 for immediate assistance.

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

Come Join Us!

15

February 19-21, 2019

Mirage, Las Vegas, Nevada

at The

NATIONAL ®

EXPO

TUESDAY, February 19

WEDNESDAY, February 20

! NEW 7 - 9 a.m. ..................................... WPMA Breakfast Buffet OPEN

! NEW 7 - 9 a.m. ................... WPMA Breakfast Buffet OPEN

8 a.m. ....................................................... Scholarship Golf Tournament

8:30 - 10 a.m. ..............................................KEYNOTE SESSION:

8 a.m. - 1 p.m. ....................EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS:

FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Rob Underwood, PMAA President

STEPHEN K. BANNON

Political Strategist and Media Executive

SCREENING, HIRING, AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES

Laramie Sandquist, Federated Insurance, General Manager Risk Management Resource

THE RISK OF SKIMMING, and Best Practices to Avoid Fraud in the Work Place U.S. Secret Service

FUTURE OF CONVENIENCE STORES

Circle K

C-Store

CHANGES IN THE RENEWABLE FUEL STANDARD (RFS)

10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. ......... TRADE SHOW OPEN with Buffet Lunch 12 - 2 p.m. .........................LADIES’ LUNCHEON: COMMUNICATING FOR RESULTS - From Conflict to Cooperation Marilyn Sherman, Front-Row Leadership

THURSDAY, February 21 ! NEW 7 - 9 a.m. ................... WPMA Breakfast Buffet OPEN

8 - 9 a.m. ............EDUCATIONAL SESSION:

ERIC FISHER

2 - 6 p.m. ...................................................................... TRADE SHOW OPEN

Valero Vice President of Wholesale Marketing & International Commercial Operations

5 - 6 p.m. ............................................ Welcome Reception - on trade show floor

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. .......... TRADE SHOW OPEN with Buffet Breakfast Subject to change

Go to www.wpmaexpo.com to register online, or call 1 (888) 252-5550 for information WWW.TFFA.COM

! p U e n i L n o i s s e S t a e r G WPMA


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texas food & fuel magazine

Gilbarco Veeder-Root is the one partner for all your needs. You need the tools and technology to make your business a success. But you want a partner too. Someone who listens. Someone who understands your problems, your customers, as well as your budget. We get it. And because we get it, we give you solutions that work to build your business and bottom line. All designed to grow with you. If that’s the kind of support you’re looking for, contact your local distributor for more details.

Technology with a human touch.

www.gilbarco.com A&A Pump Company

A-1 Pump Inc.

B&J Equipment Ltd.

5747 Dietrick Rd San Antonio, TX 78219 210.226.1191

6125 State Hwy 21 E Bryan, TX 77808 979.778.2418

3647 SW Loop 281 Longview, TX 75602 903.757.4765

1632-B Vision Dr. Abilene, TX 79602 325.676.2371

1804 Smith Rd. Austin, TX 78721 512.278.1000

2484 W. Cardinal Dr., Ste #1 125 Airport Dr. Beaumont, TX 77705 Corpus Christi, TX 78405 409.842.0007 361.882.3077

3702 S. Expressway 281 Edinburg, TX 78542 956.686.9582

1209 E. Aenue J Grand Prairie, TX 75050 972.314.2400

2700 Aldine Bender Houston, TX 77032 281.449.4027

14833 Bulverde Rd. San Antonio, TX 78247 210.661.2489

100-B Clarence Road Temple, TX 76501 254.770.0440

*12907 Highway 155 S. Tyler, TX 75703 903.535.9595

2706 Delmar Victoria, TX 77901 361.573.7449

*Tyler location = Only Parts & Service

2401 Ridgemere Amarillo, TX 79107 806.373.4251

2307 Clovis Rd Lubbock, TX 79415 806.762.2428

*8400 Directors Row Dallas, TX 75247 214.631.4664

*Dallas location = Only Parts & Service

Petroleum Solutions, Inc.

D&H United Fueling Solutions Inc. 12100 Crownpoint Dr, Ste 110 1221 Tower Trail El Paso, TX 79907 San Antonio, TX 78233 915.859.8150 210.651.3882 2101 S Loop 250 W Midland, TX 79703 432.689.2606

1475 Avenue S, Suite 300 Grand Prairie, TX 75050 817.530.1917

*5750 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E. (Ste. 110) Houston, TX 77032 713.747.5952

*Houston location = Only Parts & Service WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


At Renewable Energy Group (REG), we help you grow your business with superior biofuel options. We make it easy for you to take advantage of the strong economic and environmental incentives with REG-9000 biodiesel, REG Renewable Diesel and blended fuels. Our experts are ready to help you navigate state and federal legislation, tax incentives, RINs, and more. Plus, our quality, ratable products are proven to burn cleaner, improve lubricity and deliver more efficient engine performance than conventional ultra-low sulfur diesel.

REG has been at the forefront of the biofuel evolution since the beginning — and we continue to fuel the industry into the future.

For more information and terminal locations in your area, contact Andrew Lewis at (713) 208-9148 or andrew.lewis@regi.com Š 2018 Renewable Energy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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texas food & fuel magazine

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

BY MIKE LAWSHE, PRESIDENT, PARAGON SOLUTIONS

This isn't your typical grocery store, it's all high quality fun food and drinks. This shop is well managed, the staff is very knowledgeable, and the offerings are all unique and delicious. You can even grab coffee and a very delicious brunch here, hang out for a bit, listen to the band, relax! I can't recommend this place enough! - Sarah W. (Yelp Review)

We’ve all grown up running in and out of traditional grocery stores and convenience stores. But what happens when you merge the two? You get urban and specialty markets. More and more store owners are moving towards this type of retail to bring in those customers who may be in a hurry and just need to buy necessities, a quick lunch or dinner, but also, those who want to sit and relax with a good drink and fresh food after work. One specialty market Paragon has recently had the pleasure of working with is Nosh & Bottle, located in the Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX. They wanted that unique experience for their customers that would help them stand out from their competitors, and that’s exactly what we did. The outcome was a “gourmet market.”

The Nosh & Bottle space has a modern, clean, industrial feel that also acts as a cozy meeting place for friends to grab coffee or a drink. With the wood paneled accent wall and the pops of color it grabs the attention of customers. For those who just want to grab n’ go, they have custom industrial shelving throughout the store which are stocked with freshly prepared meals, snacks, wine, and craft beer. Along with the trendy design aspects of the store, they host weekly and monthly events such as Taco Tuesdays, local brewery nights, date nights, and specials throughout the week. These events add to its charm and uniqueness that bring in new customers and keep regulars coming. Nosh & Bottle had the right concept, in the right location, with the right design that ended with correct execution that is a gourmet market. A little something for everyone.

Mike Lawshe is the president and CEO of Paragon Solutions, a c-store and retail industry design and consulting firm based in Ft. Worth, Texas. Contact him at (817) 927-7171 or mlawshe@paragon4design.com.

WWW.TFFA.COM

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texas food & fuel magazine t ex a s f o od & f u e l m ag azi ne

TEXAS TRANSEASTERN UNVEILS FIRST CAMP HOPE TANKER TRAILER During a special event hosted October 17 at the Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen in New Caney, Texas TransEastern (TTE) showed its continuing support of the PTSD Foundation of America with the public unveiling of its first newly decorated trailer. Emblazoned with an American flag, camouflage markings and the Camp Hope logo, the trailer is intended to help raise awareness for Camp Hope. TTE plans to raise funds to decorate additional trailers to help spread the awareness about the efforts of Camp Hope and what they need to fund their mission. Those wishing to contribute should contact Heather Dodson, Director of Marketing; Major Accounts, at 281.604.3109. For more information about Camp Hope, visit http://ptsdusa.org/.

CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS HONORS PARAGON SOLUTIONS WITH STORE DESIGN AWARDS Now in its 13th year, the Convenience Store News Design Contest honors new and rebuilt c-stores whose designs excel in areas such as interior layout, use and effectiveness of signage and logos, and exterior property and landscaping. TFFA member Paragon Solutions received five awards including: Best Original Design, Best Sky’s the Limit Remodel, Best Travel Center, Best Hybrid Concept, and Best Fountain Presentation.

FMCSA DEVELOPS ELD GUIDE FOR TRUCKERS To help motor carriers adopt electronic logging devices, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a guide for drivers using ELDs. The guide provides an overview of the various data transfer processes and tips on common questions that could come up during data transfer. Download the guide: https://goo.gl/gH9Dac

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine texa s f ood & f u el magaz ine

Sunoco LP, in a transaction that it said is consistent with its strategy of using its scale to grow its core fuel distribution business, has acquired Brenco Marketing Corp., effective Oct. 16, 2018. The Bryan, Texas-based wholesale fuels business distributes approximately 95 million gallons of gasoline and diesel annually across a network of about 160 dealer and commission agent-operated locations and 100 commercial accounts in central, southeastern and eastern Texas.

FIKES WHOLESALE SELLING 11 C-STORES IN TEXAS CEFCO Convenience Stores parent company Fikes Wholesale Inc. is selling 22 convenience stores in five states. Eleven of the c-stores are in Texas, five are in Louisiana, three are in Mississippi, two are in Arkansas and one is in Oklahoma. Most of the Texas and Louisiana locations are on the Interstate 20 corridor from Longview, Texas, to Shreveport, La. Sixteen c-stores are open and operating and six are closed. The sites offer major gasoline brands, and they are for sale with or without supply.

FROM STAYING OUT TO DECLARING VICTORY, DENNIS BONNEN ENDED THE TEXAS SPEAKER’S RACE IN A WEEKEND On November 12, State Rep. Dennis Bonnen announced that he has support from 109 members to become the next speaker of the Texas House. That number, if it holds, is more than enough votes for him to win the gavel. The Angleton Republican’s announcement came at a press conference not long after four other speaker candidates — Republicans Tan Parker, Four Price and Phil King, along with Democrat Eric Johnson — dropped out of the race within 48 hours. All four endorsed Bonnen, an outspoken and aggressive member of House leadership in recent years, upon removing their names from consideration.

WWW.TFFA.COM

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WAG-A-BAG AND PIC-N-PAC WELCOME CONGRESSMEN FOR NACS INSTORE U.S. Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez and Robert Flores got an up-close look at c-store operations in Texas. Robert Flores, who serves Texas’ 17th Congressional District, visited with store representatives, TFFA, and NACS at a Wag-A-Bag store in Pflugerville. The following day, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, who represents Texas’ 15th Congressional District, spent the morning in Seguin with members of the Pic-n-Pac team. Experience like this exemplify the importance of communicating with elected officials so they can become better informed about challenges facing the convenience store industry.

EXXPRESS MART PROUDLY GIVES TO THOSE IN NEED Exxpress Mart proudly presented Girls’ Haven with a $30,000 check to help local girls turn tragedy to triumph!!! Money was raised at store level, through customer contributions Girls’ Haven seeks to provide a safe homelike environment for girls who are affected by physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness and severe family dysfunction. Their only priority is to promote and enhance the quality of life for girls in need.

CHEVRON TO DOUBLE DOWN ON RETAIL, PLANS FOR DRAMATIC GROWTH OF UP TO 75 STORES PER YEAR Chevron’s two-day distributor and retailer conference featured executives touting the oil company’s commitment to the convenience-gas format as well as new initiatives. The company has chosen to double down on retail, opting not to divest itself of its retail assets. Instead, Chevron chose to create a separate joint venture to allow that now year-old entity, ExtraMile LLC, to develop and grow the brand.

TFFA WALKS 100 MILES, LOGS MORE THAN A QUARTER MILLION STEPS AT THE NACS SHOW On our journey to Las Vegas, TFFA staff networked its way through the world’s largest convenience and fuel retailing trade show, walking 100 miles and logging more than 250,000 steps. So what exactly did TFFA see and do while at the NACS Show? To name a few: attended NACS State Executive and PMAA meetings, listened to dozens of education sessions, sampled a variety of candies and beverages, stuffed our faces full of pizza, shook hands with boxing legend Mike Tyson, previewed state of the art fueling equipment, shared meals with new friends, hopped on shuttles, Uber, and taxis more times than we can remember, and so much more. WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


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TRUMP DIRECTS EPA TO ALLOW YEARROUND SALE OF E15 GASOLINE The Trump administration is moving to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol year-round, which would help farmers by increasing demand for corn, but faces opposition from environmental groups and the oil industry. Current rules prevent the sale of fuel containing 15 percent ethanol, known as E15, during the summer because it can contribute to smog on hot days. The administration hopes to have the new rules in place by the 2019 summer driving season.

FDA PROPOSES BAN OF MENTHOL CIGARETTES The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to introduce a ban on menthol cigarettes, which is part of a larger push by the agency to control flavored e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Wall Street Journal reports that the ban on menthol could take over a year to become finalized and another year for it to become enforceable. The FDA is expected to announce sharp restrictions on the sale of most flavored pod-style e-cigarettes, effectively pulling them from most convenience stores and gas stations and requiring strict age-verification controls for online sales. The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is in touch with both the FDA and Congress on this critical issue. TFFA urges its members to contact their members of Congress and the FDA to explain the vital role of the convenience store industry as responsible retailers of legal products. WWW.TFFA.COM


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WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

every great journey requires a plan. FEDERATED LIFE®

Helping Put success in business succession. Contact your local marketing representative today. Federated Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries* | federatedinsurance.com 18.04 Ed. 1/18 *Not licensed in all states. © 2017 Federated Mutual Insurance Company

TEXAS FOOD & FUEL ASSOCIATION

WWW.TFFA.COM

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texas food & fuel magazine

BY DONALD H. GRISSON, ESQ., GRISSOM & THOMPSON, LLP

Since the 1980s, Texas and several other states prohibited merchants from imposing a surcharge for customers who paid with a credit card by passing an Anti-Surcharge law. That law said that “a seller may not impose a surcharge on a buyer who uses a credit card for an extension of credit instead of cash, a check, or a similar means of payment.” Conveniently for the state, the AntiSurcharge Law didn’t apply to “a state agency, county, local governmental entity, or other governmental entity that accepts a credit card for the payment of fees, taxes, or other charges[.]” A “surcharge” is an amount above the sales price of an item often to cover the credit card processing fees charged by credit card companies. It was neither the customer nor the credit card company who was paying the price for credit card use; it was the merchant

who chose to offer customers the convenience of credit card pay who bore the burden. Charging the same price for cash and credit meant that the merchant would make less profit on a credit card sale. Those days may now be ending. Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued an opinion in the Cook v. Paxton case which addressed the unfavorablefor-merchants surcharge law. In this case, a group of Texas merchants challenged the Texas Anti-Surcharge Law—Texas Business and Commerce Code § 604A.0021. The plaintiffs in Cook claimed that this law was unconstitutional—it violated their freespeech rights under the United States Constitution. Wait, what? How is a surcharge speech? Well, the Cook plaintiffs argued that as merchants, they would like to tell their customers that there is a surcharge if the customer pays with a credit card and that there is no additional charge if the customer pays with cash or a check. But more than anything, those plaintiffs wanted to tell customers that the surcharge is assessed because of the credit-card processing fees the credit card companies charge. The

merchants in Cook didn’t want to charge their customers any more than the processing fee they paid on the purchase. But because of the Texas Anti-Surcharge Law, their lips were sealed. And that is how a surcharge involves protected speech. And the Cook plaintiffs were not alone. Merchants from other states launched free-speech challenges elsewhere. Similar anti-surcharge laws in California, New York, and Florida—along with the Texas Anti-Surcharge Law—fell under the scrutiny of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman case. Guess what happened? The U.S. Supreme Court held that these anti-surcharge laws were unconstitutional. The laws violated the merchants’ free-speech rights. The Supreme Court then remanded each individual case to the court where it was filed. Cook went back to the Western District of Texas. In trying to save the law, the state of Texas argued that the greedy merchants would be deceiving customers by charging a surcharge in excess of the processing fees charged and pocketing the extra money. That, however, was never the intent of the

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So, the Cook court followed the Supreme Court’s reasoning, handing a victory to Texas merchants. Concluding that the Texas Anti-Surcharge law neither advanced a substantial governmental interest nor was the minimum necessary to serve the state’s interest, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the merchants.

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Cook plaintiffs who rejected the claim that they wanted to charge more. The court threw out the state’s argument, noting that “A state may not justify a law on the grounds that consumers ‘would make bad decisions if given truthful information.’”

Should you start surcharging now? Don’t jump the gun! Essential to the court’s ruling was that it was speech being protected, and that the amount the Cook plaintiffs wanted to charge didn’t exceed the actual processing fee the merchant was charged by the credit card companies. Keep these things in mind when making your business decisions regarding pricing and communications. Also remember that the law is still “on the books” in a way—courts have declared that it is unconstitutional, but remember what Evelle J. Younger, California’s attorney general said in 1971, “An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for years or months. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.” In other words, the case isn’t over yet, so proceed with caution, although thanks to the efforts of the Cook merchants, their lawyers, and their counterparts in other states, things are looking positive for business.

Disclaimer: The information and material in this article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of information in this article does not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed herein are the opinions of the individual author and do not reflect the opinions of the Texas Food and Fuel Association.

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BY FRANK BEARD, ANALYST/EVANGELIST FOR CONVENIENCE STORE TRENDS, GASBUDDY

“Location” used to mean finding the right place for a new store. Build it on the busiest street or intersection and—as they saying goes—they will come. But even the best location will fall short of its potential if consumers can’t find it on their smartphone. The past few years have seen a revolution in the way customers locate businesses, and they increasingly outsource the task to their smartphones. It’s as simple as opening an app and asking what’s nearby or which restaurants are open right now. According to Uberall, 82% of U.S. consumers have performed a “near me” search on their smartphones. Many of these searches are for categories rather than specific brands—such as “gas stations near me” or “restaurants near me.” Google also reports that the past two years have seen a 150%+ increase in mobile searches for “[fill in the blank] near me now”, and they have seen a 200%+ increase in searches that include the additional qualifier of “open”. Furthermore, digital voice assistants are becoming part of the consumer path to purchase. BrightLocal reports that 58% of consumers have used voice searches to find local business information within the past year, with 46% doing so on a daily basis. This has become easy as digital assistants are in our homes, on our phones, and yes—even in our cars. The recently-announced Amazon Echo Auto will being Alexa to our vehicles for only $49. Housed in a 3.3-by-1.9 inch unit that affixes to the dashboard, it uses an eight-microphone array to detect voice commands. Asking for the closest coffee shop, gas station, or restaurant is as easy as speaking a command. I’m already on the early waiting list.

IN TODAY’S WORLD, “LOCATION” MEANS SO MUCH MORE THAN FINDING THE RIGHT STREET OR INTERSECTION. IT’S A GOOD TIME TO START ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR DIGITAL LISTINGS MANAGEMENT STRATEGY. This is why it’s essential for fuel marketers and convenience retailers to have a digital listings management strategy. If your stores—or those within your dealer network—don’t exist on these platforms, then they’re invisible to everyone who relies upon them. Many consumers will bypass those locations and be sent elsewhere. Inaccurate information can be just as problematic—and its been reported that as many as 70% of all listings contain errors. If a location is tagged incorrectly, then it may fail to show up in proximity-based searches. The fuel and convenience industry is also uniquely exposed to these risks for a few reasons. First, the rapid pace of mergers and acquisitions has created a veritable graveyard of outdated listings. When stores change hands, they don’t automatically update online on Google Maps, Apple Maps, GasBuddy, Waze, in-dash navigation systems, and other platforms. This creates confusion for customers—especially when they try to locate a favorite brand in the vicinity.

Second, many stations have dual brands occupying a single location. You may have invested a significant amount of time and resources in new store builds and creating a convenience retailing brand that could be completely absent from all of the major listings publishers because only a fuel brand shows. GasBuddy has built the concept of dual branding to combat this, but we still see a significant portion of stations that don’t show both brands correctly. To be fair, I don’t mean to suggest that every consumer is going to ask their smartphone for the nearest station. I often visit the same local stores as part of habit and route. But at the same time, I’ve often found myself in a hurry and used Google Maps to evaluate which of three or four stations will shave the most time off my trip. Many drivers use GasBuddy to plan entire road trips. Waze also has a feature where drivers can set preferred gas station brands and gas types, making it easy to quickly locate what they want during their commutes. If you don’t exist on that platform—or have incorrect and outdated information—then you lack access to a large pool of potential customers. In today’s world, “location” means so much more than finding the right street or intersection. It’s a good time to start asking questions about your digital listings management strategy. Frank Beard is a speaker, writer, and industry advocate who serves as an analyst/ evangelist for convenience store trends at GasBuddy. Beard regularly contributes to NACS Daily and NACS Magazine. Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


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BY DUPRÉ LOGISTICS

NEW TECHNOLOGY IS TRANSFORMING DAILY BUSINESS PROCESSES FOR MANY IN SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT. THE NEED FOR REAL-TIME TRACKING AND ACCURATE DELIVERY SYSTEMS MAKES SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT RIPE FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION — AND MOBILE, WIRELESS, HANDHELD TECHNOLOGY IS LEADING THE WAY THROUGHOUT THE LOGISTICS AND TRANSPORTATION SECTORS. WITH THE EVER-CHANGING ASPECT OF TECHNOLOGY, KEEPING UP WITH NEW CAPABILITIES AND BEST PRACTICES CAN BE DIFFICULT FOR LARGE COMPANIES WHO HAVE DEEP INVESTMENTS IN OLDER TECHNOLOGY — IT IS A NEVER-ENDING PROCESS. ALTHOUGH TRANSITIONS TAKE TIME, LEVERAGING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IS KEY IN THIS COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY. THE FOLLOWING ARE A FEW OF THE WAYS IN WHICH TECHNOLOGY IS TRANSFORMING SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT:

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


texas food & fuel magazine

GREATER EFFICIENCY AND TRANSPARENCY Shippers are under pressure to reduce supply chain costs as part of greater company cost saving initiatives. Shippers want more services and better transparency from their supply chain managers, ideally without driving up costs. Since the start of the wireless era, many third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and supply chain managers have turned to wireless technologies and cloud computing to automate systems and improve accuracy. Not only are automated systems faster and more efficient than their manual, fax-based predecessors, the mobile and automated methodologies also provide better data-capture, which can, in and of themselves, improve processes and can also be stored and analyzed to target areas for improvement. For example, handheld mobile devices can deliver wireless proof of delivery and real time transportation monitoring, which can help managers discover and address operational anomalies. 3PLs are also turning to technology to streamline their client supply chain activity and improve client relations. The use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology continues to provide easy-access dashboard visibility of supply chain operations, helping leaders to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in commercial operations. Technology like radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a popular method of automatic identification and data-capture. Because RFID tags can be attached to clothing, inventory, or almost any item, the tracing possibilities are extensive and applicable to numerous aspects of the supply chain. Technology reduces labor costs by streamlining data-capture and reducing error-prone manual processes. Access to real-time, up-to-date information across the entire supply chain is having a significant impact on how companies are doing, and expect to do business. Shippers want to be able to answer the question, “When exactly will my delivery arrive?” Integrating new technologies will make answering that question much easier. Access to real-time information has significant impact. APIs offer logistics providers the ability to interface with WWW.TFFA.COM

multiple systems in a much-improved way and decrease the amount of time it takes to get data from one point to another. By doing so, 3PL providers are enabled to use self-service portals with shippers. The improved information flow also opens the possibility of better asset utilization providing loads to help the shipper return home with freight, reducing empty miles from the transportation network.

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TIGHTER COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNITY Smoother and more frequent communication undoubtedly makes business operations easier. Mobile technologies and real-time communicating can create a greater sense of unity and development from those out in the field to those in corporate headquarters. Managers are often on the move, but improved communication and access to live information can make managers more in tune with daily happenings in the supply chain. Beyond the traditional communication options smartphones offer 3PL companies’ employees, enterprise technology systems readily available in the marketplace use pings and the information pings improve communication and provide the capabilities to make big carriers nimbler.

FOCUS ON INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES Smartphone technology offers shippers and vendors the abilities to pair workers with the devices most appropriate for their daily work. As mobile devices become more diverse and varied, companies are striving to match the job with the right device. While smartphones are gaining precedence in supply chain operations, they are still subject to the wear and tear. However, ruggedized cases have increased reliability for handheld devices to withstand daily outdoor usage. Today many asset-lite carriers leverage smartphone technology. Using apps, proprietary programs and mobile interfaces, smartphone technology uses the pings from that smartphone that’s sitting with the driver and create a breadcrumb trail of how freight is being tracked. Also, applications on the backend enable a driver to signature capture information and create a proof of delivery. Smartphones give an open network of carriers the ability to act like a closedfleet network. Companies are able to get the same kind of status information from a cell phone that is available via proprietary technology or in a controlled IVMS/Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) global unit.

Strategic workforce management is especially critical for companies who are understaffed or having difficulty filling capacity. Flexible communication channels within all aspects of the supply chain can increase employee productivity and boost morale. Greater collaboration and communication ultimately boils down to better customer service. Communication aids in product tracking and delivery, which results in higher customer satisfaction with the supply chain process. When employees are connected through many stages of the supply chain, workers likely feel more fulfilled and operations often run more smoothly.

MAKING WAY FOR SMALL BUT NIMBLE CARRIERS Smaller firms with less investment in their current system have and will continue to find it easier to successfully integrate new technologies. Smaller fleets don’t have to spend thousands on mobile resource management or automatic vehicle location systems anymore. Often, the job can be done with a relatively affordable mobile device or non-proprietary app, making the leap to wireless much easier. This flexibility may continue to give smaller carriers an edge, making them more agile and flexible in a competitive environment.


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THE EFFECTS OF INTERNET SHOPPING ON LAST MILE DELIVERY Amazon began experimenting with drone delivery in late 2016 and gained a patent for a delivery drone in early 2018. Mobile technology and APIs are already improving to the point of drones being piloted by central technology by someone not even near a particular neighborhood delivering packages to homes in the neighborhood. Additionally, using autonomous vehicles to cross stock freight in warehouses is already happening and expected to increase as technology improves.

GOVERNMENT REQUIREMENTS TACKLED WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY As of December 2017, the Department of Transportation requires Electronic Logging Devices for drivers and fleets. (Some companies, converting from the grandfathered AOBRD to ELD, must meet the December 2019 deadline. All others were required to move to ELD December of 2017.) Fleets faced with stricter regulations are turning to better routing software and logistics management technology to save time and money. As the government looks towards technological solutions, supply chain managers will have no other choice but to do so as well.

DRIVER SHORTAGE DRIVES NEW TECHNOLOGY Driver Assisted Truck Platooning (DATP) could relieve some of the strain of the driver shortage by enabling one driver to “drive” several vehicles in parade formation at once. The human driver would simply operate a single truck at the head of the “platoon” and one or more similar trucks would connect with the lead truck to follow along behind autonomously. DATP has the potential to reduce carbon emissions through better miles per gallon, as well as save costs as driver wages continue to rise. Autonomous vehicles have been working along Interstate 10 between El Paso and Southern California since 2017. For now, a human driver rides in the cab to monitor the computer chauffeur. Even though the well-

documented driver shortage is real, trucks continue to carry 70 percent of goods shipped around the country.

ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS (ATA), THE INDUSTRY IS SHORT ABOUT 50,000 DRIVERS AND THAT NUMBER COULD GROW AS BABY BOOMERS RETIRE AND POSSIBLY HIT 175,000 BY 2024. ROUGHLY 90,000 NEW DRIVERS ANNUALLY ARE NEEDED TO MEET CURRENT DEMAND. Self-driving trucks could help save the day to fill the gap between need and scarcity of drivers — especially considering that a self-driving truck would not be subject to ELD rules limiting humans to 11 hours at a time behind the wheel. The gamification of trucking is also being used to improve safety and combat the driver shortage and attract a new generation of drivers. Gamification uses game mechanics and dynamics to drive engagement and key performance indicators in a nongame context — it basically uses natural instinct and reward incentives to drive or change current behavior.

INTERNET-OF-THINGS AND VEHICLE-TOEVERYTHING CHANGES The Internet of Things and Vehicle-toEverything (technology to connect the vehicle to other vehicles, the cloud and anything else)could work together to go far beyond ELDs. These networks of technology could improve safety in numerous ways, monitor drivers’ health, assist with lane changes and more as information is passed between a vehicle and an entity on the road — a traffic light, crosswalk or other signs. More specific forms of this technology include connecting Vehicle-to-Cloud (V2C), Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G). These technologies could improve safety on the road as well as driving efficiency. ____________________________________ Dupré Logistics is a privately held, asset-based provider of transportation and logistics services that include energy and chemical transport, dedicated truck transportation, site logistics, and freight brokerage. We specialize in tanker, hazmat, and petrochemical transportation and complex supply chain solutions in industrial and consumer products.

WE FUEL TEXAS. TM


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Bevco, Inc............................................................24 D&H United Fueling Solutions...............................................29 Federated Insurance................................25 & 35 Fuel Marketer News...........................................34

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Gilbarco Veeder-Root.......................................16 LBT, Inc................................................................33

Quarterly Buzz P. 20

Petroleum Solutions, Inc..................................... 9

Are You Prepared for the “Near Me” Search Revolution? P. 28

Renewable Energy Group................................17 Werts Welding & Tank Service.......................................................... 6

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TFFA YEAR IN REVIEW P.11

For advertising information contact: Jesus Azanza Dir. of Marketing & Business Development 512.617.4309 / jazanza@tffa.com

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Profile for Texas Food & Fuel Association

Texas Food & Fuel Magazine - December 2018  

The flagship publication for fuel marketing and convenience retailing professionals in Texas.

Texas Food & Fuel Magazine - December 2018  

The flagship publication for fuel marketing and convenience retailing professionals in Texas.

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