Fraud is a hot-button issue across the logistics industry, with various scams costing companies serious time and money every year. Some types of fraud, like double brokering and cargo theft, are often spotlighted. Less discussed types of fraud, like fuel fraud, are just as insidious — and just as prevalent.
Fuel fraud manifests in several ways, including fuel card abuse, fuel pump tampering and falsification of fuel consumption records. All of these scams take a staggering financial toll on both individual fleets and the industry as a whole, amounting to hundreds of millions of lost dollars annually.
“Carriers tell us they’re losing tens of thousands of dollars per month due to fuel fraud resulting from card-skimming incidents,” Spencer Barkoff, co-founder and president of Relay Payments, said. “These incidents create multiple headaches for operations teams. They have to help their driver fuel up when cards are shut off, get new cards issued and dispute fraudulent transactions.”
PURE Freight Lines was one of those affected carriers. In the past, the company has taken several hits from unauthorized transactions and the operational setbacks that accompany investigating those activities. The company’s reputation was also impacted, according to Milo Dubak, CEO of PURE Freight Lines. Frequent incidents of fraud left drivers without fuel cards while waiting to receive replacements, ultimately eroding their trust.
PURE is working hard to stop these scams in their tracks through a comprehensive plan that includes multiple strategic partnerships.
“We’ve invested in more robust security measures and technologies, such as the partnerships with Amous and Relay Payments, to guard against fuel card skimming and other fraudulent activities to restore trust with our drivers and protect our operations,” Dubak said.
Amous is PURE’s new TMS provider. Relay and Amous recently teamed up to tackle fuel fraud head-on through a new integration.
Before partnering with Relay, Amous handled fraud through an integration for activating and deactivating fuel cards. The company realized that this approach was not a sufficient long-term solution. Mark Shevchuk, co-founder and CEO of Amous TMS, noted that the approach helped significantly reduce — but did not eliminate — fuel theft.
Amous’ ultimate goal was to provide customers with peace of mind by ensuring zero incidents of fuel theft. That is where the company’s partnership with Relay comes into play. By bringing all players together, Amous, Relay and PURE were able to create an integration that wasn’t available on the market.
“Relay’s digital fuel payments represent a revolutionary technology in the logistics industry, addressing the root cause of fuel theft,” Shevchuk said. “This aligns perfectly with what Amous TMS was seeking — a comprehensive solution that goes beyond surface-level fixes to deliver an even more effective outcome for our valued clients.”
Partnering with Relay for digital fuel payments — and utilizing its integration through Amous — has completely eliminated fuel theft for PURE, saving the company an average of $10,000-$15,000 per month.
In addition to enhancing PURE’s security efforts, Dubak noted that utilizing Amous and Relay improves efficiency, transparency, trust and profitability, driving the business toward growth and success.
Amous offers a cloud-based enterprise TMS with over 120 integrations offering solutions to carriers, brokers/3PLs and shippers, creating an ecosystem hub for their clients. The direct API integration with Relay enables PURE to streamline its operations through real-time data exchanges. This allows PURE to monitor its fuel consumption live in the TMS and promptly identify and address any inefficiencies, thereby improving cost management and overall profitability.
Amous has future plans for cross-referencing Relay live transactions and ELD fuel consumption data in the TMS to provide multiple layers of security to further safeguard against fuel fraud.
Relay is accessible at more than 1,500 truck stops nationwide, providing fleets and drivers with plenty of options to fuel up safely. The company recently announced it is now accepted at over 800 Pilot Co. locations. This means that fleets like PURE have nationwide access to fuel up and pay through Relay.
This expanded relationship with Pilot also allows fleets, including PURE, to continue to benefit from the existing pre-negotiated discounts and direct bill arrangements they’ve long relied on.
The benefits of this new partnership for drivers also extend beyond making it easier to pay at the pump. Amous TMS Driver and the Relay mobile app provide a suite of additional services designed to support drivers on the road, improving their overall driving and working experience.
All three companies — Amous, PURE and Relay — are committed to a shared vision of revolutionizing the logistics industry through innovative technology and collaborative partnerships.
“As we navigate the intersection of the transportation world and advanced technology, I am optimistic that this partnership will unveil a host of innovative solutions to tackle the industry’s other big concerns such as double brokering, contributing to the evolution of the trucking world,” Dubak said.