What’s keeping propane retailers up at night?

January 14, 2016 By    

This is the second of a three-part blog series about the LP Gas State of the Industry report. Read the first part here.

What’s the most pressing business concern for propane retailers at the moment?

LP Gas asked this question to retailers in its annual State of the Industry survey. Retailers offered a variety of responses. Here are a dozen that stood out:

  • “Finding good employees. We have a huge issue of an aging employee base with no new people looking at our industry and a career.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “Natural gas lines going all around us.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “U.S. [Department of Transportation] regulations.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “The drought, warm winters and a lack of fleet managers to grasp the savings of propane.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “Price stability.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “A push with customer-owned tanks by other marketers in certain parts of our service area.” – an independent Central Atlantic retailer
  • “Retailers racing to get to the lowest price per gallon.” – a Midwest MLP representative
  • “Maintaining adequate propane supply in the right places. Stable propane pricing. Getting the advantages of propane versus other fuels in front of the consumer.” – an independent Central Atlantic retailer
  • “The out-of-control regulations; Obamacare; [diesel particulate] filters on bobtail trucks; the possibility of California imposing income tax on labor.” – an independent West Coast retailer
  • “[There’s] still an overwhelming number of marketers that discount our product to gain sales. Cooperatives [are] using propane as an ‘add-on’ benefit to members and not realizing the full margin opportunity.” – an independent Midwest retailer
  • “Supply in the winter and rail issues in Maine.” – an independent New England retailer
  • “Competition that is willing to take low margins to grow gallons, then do a sloppy job.” – a Midwest farm co-op representative
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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik was a senior editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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