You don't take a chance on heating. You need to know that your wood pellet supplier will be able to keep you warm.
How do you know who you can rely on?
Thousands of tonnes of wood pellets in stock
What do you do if your local source of wood pellets is unavailable?
All wood-pellet factories have interruptions from time to time. As the process involves applying heat to wood (to dry it), fires are common, and will take the factory out of operation for at least a few weeks, and often several months.
In a difficult market such as we face today, pellet producers may go out of business permanently. Verdo announced the closure of both their British wood pellet factories in October 2016, accounting for around one-third of British production.
If the wood pellets are being imported, popular pellet-production regions (like Russia and the Baltics) may be frozen in for long periods.
In winter, demand will exceed production capacity. Wood pellet manufacturers will be stretched thin, and not all of their customers will get the full amount they wanted when they wanted it.
How do you reduce your exposure to these risks?
Buy from a substantial wood pellet supplier.
Suppliers who cut costs by holding minimal amounts of stock and picking up direct from the factory or port may not be able to supply if the factory or importer is shutdown for a while.
Small suppliers will not be front of the queue when markets are tight and manufacturers/importers have to choose who to prioritise. They won't take a risk on losing (and possibly getting sued by) a customer who supplies tens of thousands of tonnes with dozens of trucks across the country. If they have to choose, they will cut off the supplier with one or two trucks supplying a few thousands tonnes a year with limited coverage.
At Forever Fuels, we offer the option of delivery direct from the factory, for those who want to pay the premium for British wood pellets. And we offer delivery direct from various import stores, for the lowest-cost options.
But in our case it is backed up by:
Substantial stocks of wood pellets in our own stores and depots. We go into winter with several thousand tonnes of ENplus A1 wood pellets in stock - enough to serve our customers for several weeks during peak winter demand, even if there are interruptions to our various sources.
Firm contracts for tens of thousands of tonnes of ENplus A1 wood pellets from multiple sources. Temporary interruptions are always possible, but we can rely on our stock in those circumstances. Longer interruptions are not a financially viable option for our suppliers, and it is highly unlikely that multiple sources will all be interrupted for long periods simultaneously.
Multiple collection points. We collect from many factories and import stores around the country, quite apart from our own stores and depots. Any one of them may have a problem, but it is highly unlikely that several of them will be interrupted at the same time. If necessary, we simply have to divert our collections to one of the other locations.
Our loyal customers of course get priority on supplies when markets are tight. Top priority goes to customers who have a monitored contract, who have a guarantee that we will not let them run out.
We may serve other suppliers' customers in the event that they are unable to supply. As the largest specialist in blown wood pellet deliveries, with the majority of the wood pellet tankers in the country, we are often called upon to bail out competitors who have not invested to ensure continuity of supply to their customers.
But we will only take on as much additional demand as will not put at risk our ability to serve our existing customers. If your supplier does not make the provision that we do, there is a material risk that you will go cold if your supplier's supplier stops producing.
Largest network of dedicated depots and specialist trucks for wood pellets
The factory isn't the only place where a failure could put at risk your supplier's ability to serve you. A failure at a depot may mean that they can't load their trucks. And the failure of a truck or the absence of a driver may mean that they can't get out to you.
The key to security is diversity. We have more dedicated wood-pellet depots (9 as of Feb 2012, 12 by Spring 2012) and more specialist wood-pellet blower trucks (15 tankers and 3 tippers) than our competitors. If we have a failure, we have a good chance of covering it from another depot or with another truck or driver. If your supplier only has one truck and/or one depot to cover a wide region, any problem will limit their ability to supply you.
Again, we may serve other suppliers' customers in these circumstances, but priority will go to our loyal customers. We make no guarantees of availability to serve other suppliers' customers.