A Fuel Supplier Sells Service

Standard Petroleum Logistics founder Misty Sexton makes it her business to help your business.

After 13 years in the petroleum industry, Sexton saw an opportunity to strike out on her own, starting Standard Petroleum Logistics (www.standardpetroleumlogistics.com) in Ellicott City, Maryland, to be more than just another downstream fuel supplier.

“You get more than a load of heat when you buy from Standard Petroleum Logistics,” she said in a recent interview. Experience with regional and national companies, retail and commercial, taught Sexton the importance of providing education, training and consulting as well as fuel. “I love the training and education piece,” Sexton said. “I teach classes on fuel management and I love it. The oil industry is just plain cool.”

Misty Sexton (right) visits with Leann Murphy, driver and trainer for Lee Transport Systems, Elmer, N.J. Photo courtesy of Standard Petroleum Logistics.

To meet the needs of the small to medium petroleum businesses that are her target market, Sexton stays in touch with state and local officials and on top of trends in the industry. When there are changes, she can keep her customers up to date.

“We help your business run smoothly,” Sexton said. “As a wholesaler, we see things before the end-user or retailer does. We help [customers] prepare by sharing our education and developing a plan. We can connect you with someone at the state to answer a question, and we can clarify regulations.” The company, which she founded in 2017, provides education and advice on subjects including spill prevention and countermeasures, tank monitoring, and legal issues. “Oil is a fungible product,” she said. “Service is not. It’s unique.”

Sexton, who has a degree in biology, started her career in the petroleum industry at Husky Heating Oil, a fuel oil retailer in Maryland. After Husky was acquired by Space Petroleum, she became vice president of sales and marketing. “We were a small company with big volume, so I did sales but also lobbying, marketing, websites, advertising and even oversaw the installation and programming of Axxis fuel management software,” said Sexton.

IPC acquired Space Petroleum in 2014, after which her work included sales, purchasing, contracts, and supply deals.

Sexton believed women weren’t taken seriously in the oil industry. On the website for Standard Petroleum Logistics Sexton proudly touts that the company is “Woman Owned.”  Sexton believes with the right work ethic women can find their place in the industry. “It’s a boy’s world, but we’re invited,” she said. “I don’t want to waive a pink flag, and I will always hire the best candidate for the job no matter what gender,” she added. But when she can, Sexton will give women and other disadvantaged workers and companies a shot, she said.

Standard Petroleum Logistics is “asset-light,” but Sexton dreams of owning her own trucks. “Perhaps because I started with retail heating oil, I love short trucks. That will be our next step. We’ll start with used models to save some money and avoid the high taxes,” she said. For now, Sexton enlists common carriers for larger deliveries that involve dispatching a tank trailer to a distributor; she farms out smaller deliveries to her customers.

Sexton’s business plan also includes a timetable for adding drivers and technicians. “I have guys in place, ready to go when it’s time to move forward.”– Greg Giambalvo

Greg Giambalvo is a contributing writer to Fuel Oil News.

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