Lubes are the new Fuel. What's up with all the price changes?

Posted by Kelly Burke on Aug 2, 2021 10:51:51 AM

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Since December of 2020, we have seen an unprecedented SIX price increases roll out on base oil, additive & finished lubricant products. Now we are additionally seeing essentially all major suppliers move to allocations on products because of increasing difficulty on supply/sourcing.

So what is going on? 

Like most things in 2021, a lot of the issue started with the Pandemic & its after effects. When shutdowns went into effect in March 2020, demand for finished products crashed and that led to cuts in production volumes by producers, and the simultaneous drop in fuel demand led to a drop in refining, which caused a drop in the ability to source products for lube production that derive from fuel refining... and so on, like dominos. 

Once things came back online, the freak ice storms in Texas that derailed refineries once again slowed the access to lube production products. 

As soon as that was sorted,  demand  in the US roared back much faster than anticipated on both fuel & lubricant products as the world began to open back up.  This essentially created a situation where production was not able to come back online fast enough to meet suddenly skyrocketing demand. 

This has led to unofficial allocation levels for nearly all distributors across the country, as companies from major suppliers to independent blenders struggle to access the supply required to service their customers properly. 

To add another layer of frustration, the labor shortage in the transportation industry (read about that here: All Eyes on the Growing Driver Shortage )  means that even in the event that product CAN be sourced adequately, it is increasingly difficult to secure delivery, even at higher than standard freight rates. 

Long story short, the Pandemic, Economic Rebound, and Labor Shortages have essentially created a "perfect storm" where the fundamentals of supply and demand are pushing lubricant, additive, and base oils skyward. Optimists in the field hope supply issues will be remedied by the end of the summer, but with talk on the horizon of yet another increase in September, it seems doubtful that will be the case. 

We will keep you apprised of any major changes in the supply and pricing picture going forward. Hang in there, everybody.  

 

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Topics: Price Increase, Fundamentals, Lubricants, Additives

Check out our Taunton Facility, where Product Integrity is Everything

Posted by Kelly Burke on May 26, 2021 10:28:04 AM

In 2015 we moved out of our longtime corporate headquarters in Chelsea MA into our new facility in Taunton MA. In 2020 we also added another state-of-the art lubricant plant in Saco, Maine.

While current COVID protocols limit our ability to show our facilities to our customers, we thought a photo "walk through" and explanation might be helpful while we wait for things to open up in Massachusetts so we can return to the real thing (which thankfully should be soon!!) 

Below is a quick run through some of the key parts of our main facility in Taunton, Mass. 

One of the things we are most proud of about the Taunton facility, is starting again in the warehouse let us have the ability to put the same level of extra care into planning out product segregation in our facility as we have always done in our trucks. 

We have a substantial tank farm, and our Lubricant Operations team really went the extra mile in installing a segregated piping system, including separate pumps for hydraulic, motor oil, and DEF. This essentially provides extra steps to ensure product integrity, and eliminates the chances of any cross contamination by removing even the chance of slight residual product in hoses after pumping. 

tanksshiny segregated piping

 

Within our customized lube delivery trucks, the same principal applies, as you can see here:

segregated piping in lube trucksloading lube truck

 

For DEF, our DEF trailers are equipped with 1 micron filters, which ensures the cleanest possible product and guarantees no contamination. We run closed systems on all DEF packaging & equipment to ensure quality throughout the life of the product. 

hose reels def trailerdef drum crpped-1

 

Additionally, we added a customized tote wall setup. This setup allows us to store multiple totes in an efficient space, as well as designate each one by product and manufacturer, so each tote only carries its designated item which we can track by barcode from fill through delivery to a customers site, meaning in the event of any issues, we have full visibility into the full journey of the product and know exactly where it is and where it came from. 

Tote Wall - rotatedloading tote wall

 

The barcoded, segregated totes tie into our broader inventory tracking & product delivery platform we use to integrate product management within the warehouse with precise delivery to customers, and route optimization for our drivers, but that's a subject we will cover in another update. 

Saco to follow!

 

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Topics: Lubricants, product integrity, Taunton Facility

Protect your Plow with PFC this winter

Posted by Rich Ahern on Sep 30, 2020 10:17:28 AM

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Berkebile Oil's Protection First Class (PFC) is a must for plow and snow removal equipment operators. Road treatments, added to harsh conditions of New England winters can do a number on plows and salt spreading equipment. With PFC, you can coat plow blades (polymer or metal), spreader bays, augers, and chains, and even battery terminals. You have a lot riding on your equipment functioning correctly, and remaining in peak condition to perform. Help protect it with Protection First Class. We stock PFC in our Taunton facility. For more info, contact your area rep, or simply leave a comment below and we will reach out. 

The video below explains more about PFC, particularly for use in snow removal. For additional info, visit Protection First Class

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Topics: winter additives, Lubricants, PFC

DKB Becomes Northeast Distributor for Phillips 66/Kendall

Posted by Kelly Burke on May 21, 2018 3:07:27 PM

Dennis K Burke is proud to announce that we are now the Phillips 66/Kendall Lubricants distributor for the Northeast. Kendall has been on the forefront of advances in lubricant product technology since the early 1900's and we are excited to be able to offer their premium, cutting edge products to our customers.  

For more information about Phillips 66/Kendall Lubricants product offerings, please visit  https://www.kendallmotoroil.com/ or feel free to reach out to the office (800-289-2875) or your Dennis K Burke representative for more information.

Contact Us to Order

 

Kendall Logo

 

 

 

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Topics: Lubricants, Lube News, branded lubes, Kendall Lubricants, phillips 66

DKB becomes Castrol Distributor for New England

Posted by Kelly Burke on Sep 25, 2017 8:20:00 AM

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Dennis K Burke is excited to announce that we are now an official distributor of Castrol automotive & heavy duty lubricants throughout the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont! 

Castrol is a premium product line, and offers a range of advanced motor oils including synthetics, synthetic blends, high mileage, conventional, and diesel engine oils.  We are excited to add Castrol to our product mix!

For more information on Castrol & Castrol Lubricants, check out their website at www.castrol.com 

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Topics: Lubricants, HD Lubes, branded lubes, castrol

DKB joins NESSARA

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jul 16, 2014 11:08:32 AM


We just got this in the mail - NESSARA, or the New England Service Station and Automotive Repair Association is a non profit group that works very hard on behalf of small, independent service stations, repair facilities, and similar companies in the industry to keep them informed of policy changes that can affect their business, and lobbies  against legislation that hurts small business' bottom lines. 

(You can read more about NESSARA here: http://nessara.org/index.php )

 

 

 

Nessara certificate for Dennis K. Burke Inc. Circa 2014

 

 

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Topics: Lubricants, Lube News, automotive, NESSARA

Dennis K Burke joins with PQIA to Support Lubricant Product Integrity

Posted by Kelly Burke on May 12, 2014 8:52:26 AM

We are proud to announce that we are now official supporters of the PQIA - the Petroleum Quality Institute of America. The Institute's focus is testing and ensuring that lubricants, transmission fluids, and motor oils available in the marketplace have been tested and verified to be of high quality.

PQIA issued a press release on our support, you can read that here: PQIA Dennis K Burke Press Release

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Topics: Lubricants, PQIA, lubricant quality testing

Why are Environmentally Friendly Lubes Important for Vessels?

Posted by John Presti on Mar 5, 2014 9:38:00 AM

There have been a lot of questions regarding Marine vessel lubricants and the VGP regulations on them, so we thought it would be a good idea to lay out some of the fundamentals on the topic. The VGP regulations on vessels requires that vessel operators replace conventional lubricants with environmentally friendly options whenever possible. 

The concern isn't so much spills as normal amounts of lubricants lost in vessel operation, such as from stern tubes. A 2011 study by the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre actually found that routine operational lubricant discharge created more pollution in the Mediterranean Sea than accidental spills did. That's pretty significant!

By using more environmentally friendly products, operators can minimize damage to the environment while still meeting lubrication needs. 

Key issues are if a product is biodegradeable - either readily or inherently, whether its toxic to the aquatic environment, and how much bioaccumulation compounds in the product cause (how much it will build up in living tissue over time). For example, conventional petroleum based lubricants have the potential to bioaccumulate, don't biodegrade well, and can be highly toxic to the aquatic environment. In contrast, PAG, synthetic ester, and vegetable oil based Environmentally friendly lubricants biodegrade readily, have low toxicity to the aquatic environment, and do not bioaccumulate. So in that context, it makes a lot of sense to switch as much vessel lubrication as possible away from conventional lubes. 

In future posts we'll get more in depth on what different products meet VGP requirements, as well as what different parts of the regulation mean to different businesses and vessel types.

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Topics: Environmentally Friendly Products, Lubricants, Marine Lubes, VGP

Are You Maximizing your Equipment's Efficiency?

Posted by Kelly Burke on Nov 22, 2013 2:24:00 PM

We talk a great deal around here about proactive solutions - ideas and programs that, with a little time and capital ultimately save us time, money, and maybe most importantly - save us from the headaches of unanticipated problems. A major proactive plan that's been awesome for ourselves and several of our customers is Oil Analysis. 

What if you could get an analysis emailed to you every time you PM'ed your fleet  - whether that was tractors, heavy construction equipment, or a specialty machine?

What if that analysis could tell you your equipment may have a slow coolant leak, or your system showed a little corrosion? 

With that kind of heads up, you could proactively schedule down time for that equipment to be repaired without dealing with the chaos from equipment failure. 

What if on top of that, your report let you maximize oil drain intervals?

With that info, you could schedule your maintenance out more easily, and save on your overall lubricant spend in many cases. 

CITGO has a calculator on their site you can calculate what oil analysis may save your business based on mileage, fleet size, etc - you can try that calculator out here: http://www.hdlubes.com/Calculator/ 

(CITGO offers this analysis to Dennis K Burke customers for FREE on qualified engine oils, so you can try it no risk and see if it adds value to your bottom line..... Dont use engine oil? No problem - Dennis K Burke offers an analysis program for Industrial & Specialty Equipment as well )

You can read more about Oil Analysis benefits in general (especially for industrial equipment) on the WearCheck USA site here: http://www.wearcheck.com/ 

The peace of mind from knowing your fleet is running at maximum efficiency, and your mechanics have a heads up of small engine issues before they result in catastrophic failures and downtime alone is worth it. 

If you would like more info on Oil Analysis in general, or how DKB can help you get started, fill out the contact form on the right or call us anytime.

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Topics: Lubricants, Citgo, Wear Check, Oil Analysis, Engine Oil, HD Lubes

Ethylene Glycol Demand Driving up Antifreeze Costs - Again

Posted by John Presti on Mar 29, 2013 10:20:00 AM

Antifreeze prices will be going up for all major suppliers this Spring due to the rising price of Ethylene Glycol. Ethylene Glycol is the main componant of automotive antifreeze - but it is also used in the manufacture of plastics and resins, including plastic soda bottles and it is also used in some medical applications. The increase in demand, especially for manufactured plastics as a result of economic expansion in countries like China has made global prices continue to climb.

As an effect of this, antifreeze manufacturers bear a higher cost of production for finished product, so costs are continuing to rise on the supplier level as well.

Most suppliers have set their increases to take effect on April 1 - we are holding off til April 12th to try and give you an opportunity to beat the increase if you can. If you would like to place an order before the prices increase dont hesitate to contact us at 617-884-7800 or email us at lubeorders@burkeoil.com

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Topics: Lubricants, antifreeze, Ethylene Glycol