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Puma Energy eyes greater slice of fuel haulage market

Global energy business targets fuel haulage to mine sites after taking over Ausfuels and Northern Territory transporter Directhaul

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | June 14, 2013

Global fuel distributor Puma Energy is eyeing a greater slice of the fuel haulage market after taking over wholesaler Ausfuel and its trucking operation Directhaul earlier this year.

Puma put down $265 million for Ausfuel in February to give it 200 retail fuel stations, 11 fuel depots and Directhaul.

Directhaul CEO Brooke David, who bought Directhaul from his father Dick 15 years ago, left the company upon acquisition.

Fleet Manager Brian Murphy (pictured) says he expects to see little changes under new owners except further business growth.

“There is some stuff on the horizon which will definitely create some work for us – Puma wants to target bigger volumes such as the mines,” Murphy says.

“Puma are basically a direct competitor to Shell and BP and there has already started to be more growth on the truck side as more fuel sales means more trucks.”

Directhaul has grown by 25 percent in the last two years thanks to its large customer network. It services the top half of Australia, including Adelaide.

“I think smaller operators in fuel might be struggling a bit but us doing bulk haulage is full steam ahead,” Murphy says.

The company has recently won a Shell contract, which has seen it purchase nine Kenworth trucks to accommodate the rough conditions of Tanami Highway.

“The track is a bit frustrating but the gear is heavy duty so I don’t expect a lot of problems except suspension problems – that’s a road that sorts out the men between the boys.

“You can have some Hillbilly cruising down the road and messing up the gear in no time and they don’t last too long – normally they don’t pass driver training.”

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