The mechanisms of buying and selling refined fuels are complex, but they all boil down to one purpose: preserve profit margin at any cost. However, as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money.
Quality products and services are worth the investment, and often cutting corners on a purchase can be far more expensive in the long run. But is it always necessary to pay extra to get the best? Not when it comes to rack price reports. DTN rack price data costs less than the competition but gives you more. Let’s examine the benefits.
Automatic price collection vs. self-reported prices
Some rack price data reports include specifically and individually requested and supplied prices instead of being automatically collected during verified transactions. The resulting average may not be accurate because those prices were purposefully chosen.
What sets our data apart is that 96% of our rack prices are reported automatically, without human error or bias.
This is because the data supplier is picking and choosing data to report, and that’s a problem for customers who expect trustworthy data, as human bias is responsible for deciding which prices make the averages and the benchmarks reported serve a particular purpose or customer. Even when bias is unintentional, there are still consequences for the customer. Worse still, manually gathered and reported prices can contain errors.
DTN gathers rack price data from over 1,900 terminals, covering around 800 unique products. But what sets us apart is that 96% of our rack prices are reported automatically, meaning no human communication (or its inherent biases) occurred. Our data is the most accurate because it never has a chance to become inaccurate.
Publicly available prices vs. tiered pricing or re-seller pricing
Tiered prices — or products priced specifically for resale of the product — are almost always from point-to-point sales: private purchases directly between a buyer and a seller, meaning the product was never available to bid for publicly.
Another scenario is where the product is purchased at a price that includes all taxes, tariffs, and applicable fees. That is obviously a contract purchase between two private entities.
DTN FastRacks data does not include non-public fuel prices.
Just like self-reported prices, when these prices are included in an average, they’ll skew the resulting data in a way that misleads the viewer.
For refined fuels buyers, these are not prices a wholesaler could reasonably expect to pay. DTN FastRacks® data does not include non-public fuel prices. All prices you see on our report are, in fact, available for you to contract for and/or purchase.
Customized alerts vs. decision dead zones
Fuel market prices used to be published every 24 hours. That’s no longer the case. When the market shifts, you need to know now. DTN FastRacks alerts you to sudden shifts in intra-day changes — even including multiple terminals, so you’re never caught flat-footed when your market presents profitable opportunities.
You can customize your alerts so your day is only interrupted by the data you want to be immediately aware of.
What’s more, you can customize your alerts so your day is only interrupted by the data you want to be immediately aware of. That cuts down on the clutter in your inbox.
Facts vs. opinions
While DTN offers expert market analysis in our DTN Prophet® energy trading platform, we don’t think a rack price report is the place for opinion. To make the best purchase and contract decisions, our DTN FastRacks customers get nothing but clean data. We know our customers trust us; we trust them to make their best decisions based on our rack price report without our influence.
Responsive customer service vs. “take a number”
Nowadays, customer service is attempted through artificial intelligence. Have you tried to make your request clear to a phone robot? Or have you sent an email, then waited for the reply, only to find a “Thank you for your inquiry” automated response?
DTN doesn’t do that. When a DTN FastRacks customer calls us, they’ll get an individual response. When an email is sent to our customer success team, an actual human being reads it. But more than that: the person who responds genuinely understands your needs and has the skills to help.
But it gets even better: every DTN employee is fully empowered to make decisions in the best interest of the customer.
Rack price data worth paying less for
DTN is in the flow of the actual refined fuel markets at every level: demand, pricing, buying, and selling — every day, 24/7/365. We handle over 85% of refined fuels transactions in the United States, and we have been in business for nearly 40 years, constantly improving, innovating, and delivering. So, while you certainly could spend more money for rack price reporting, there isn’t a compelling business reason to do so.
With DTN FastRacks, you actually get higher-quality data, while spending less for it. That’s just a good business decision.
Take a closer look at DTN FastRacks. Request a sample report today.