In 1996 Peninsula was created to fill a gap in the Gibraltar market for bunkering services. Benefitting from the assistance of a refinery across the bay in Algeciras and an increase in demand, Peninsula quickly became known as a leader in the area. Due to Peninsula’s focus on customer services, the team quickly forged strong and lasting relationships with key vessel decision makers and soon began offering their services beyond Gibraltar. Locations such as Ceuta, Canary Islands and Panama soon followed as a result of customer demand and trust in the Peninsula brand. The company was seen to be challenging the status quo of the larger companies and refineries in the space.
Commercial Network Expansion
Because of its proactive commercial and customer service response to the market, paired with close relationships with its customers, Peninsula was entrusted with services in other locations. As a result of this, offices soon followed and Peninsula hired locally to ensure that it could offer clients local knowledge and language. The company began to grow rapidly however the emphasis was still firmly on customer service, getting to know its customers and markets, and developing relationships and networks. The companies that seemed out of reach due to the fact that the business was relatively small, soon became Peninsula’s customers and the company went from being available locally to being available internationally.
Physical Supply Expansion
Following the trust placed on Peninsula by its customers and an internal strategic review process, the company concluded that it could out perform its competitors in the physical arena and incorporate not only a marketing service, but a full physical one too. During this time, the company decided to go one step further in the supply chain and began renting tanks in terminals and eventually started blending its own products. The complexity of the new structure transformed the business from a single trader concept into one of a variety of specialist roles. In order to ensure the longevity of Peninsula, it was clear that strict controls needed to be implemented in parallel both on the commercial and corporate sides of the business.
Peninsula chose to take advantage of the size of its operation and the company began to link the dots on the map using skills developed and assets acquired in the shipping and chartering side. At this stage the company looked at its physical presence not a locations, but as regional platforms. Peninsula also began to integrate the business with additional services and took control of the their supply chain. They removed the middle man and integrated vertically to be able to ensure the quality of its products and services whilst remaining as efficient as possible. This unfolded more possibilities for larger economies of scale by using larger assets. Finally the business integrated internally by creating the supply and sales teams on the commercial side whilst ensuring the corporate side was aligned with the rest of the business.
The latest phase of the Peninsula business has been one driven by external factors. IMO2020, an evolved marketplace and the requests for governance, controls and compliance as a result of the failing of other operators in our industry has created a new set of challenges.
These challenges will help Peninsula shine in terms of the quality of product and service it offers, it will allow stakeholders to use Peninsula as a benchmark, and it will also allow Peninsula to be more accountable for its business, its clients and the industry as a whole to pave the way for the future.