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Meet the Micro-Refinery: The Value of Proximity

Decades ago, traditional refineries were placed in coastal locations to optimize freight-in costs and to be close to highly concentrated food manufacturing plants. But that has changed. As the population spread out there has been a significant migration of food manufacturing to more rural areas to access these new labor markets and to optimize the economics of manufacturing. The legacy sugar refineries and food manufacturing plants were no longer in close proximity and in-land trucking became the new normal.

It was easy until it wasn’t.

Today the challenges to in-land trucking are many. Driver shortages, meeting sustainability objectives, increasing fuel prices, driver legislative challenges, frequent weather events, increasing manufacturing wages, and SKU’s/schedule changes have both suppliers and suppliers seeking new strategies.

The solution? The Sugaright Micro-Refinery

Our micro refinery strategy results in proximity of supply which provides significant economic, sustainability and service advantages. By placing our micro-refineries near large concentrations of customer demand we reduce the most inefficient portion of the supply chain. Our average delivery distance from our refinery to our customer is 25 miles; and 90% of our shipments are within 50 miles of our refineries. Some of our customers are even next door.

The advantages are many:

Fewer drivers

We can deliver 5-6 loads per driver per day versus 5-6 distinct drivers, power units and tankers. The drivers’ time is spent driving and unloading, and not a lot of time waiting, resulting in significant cost savings.

Less truck miles and greatly reduced GHG emissions

As almost all of our customers have stated sustainability goals, taking truck miles off the road can easily be translated to enormous savings in fuel use and subsequent GHG emissions helping us all to preserve our planet. Sugaright is a valued partner in helping our customers meet their carbon reduction goals.

More reliable

As anyone who has ever taken a road trip knows, the longer the route, the greater the uncertainty caused by weather, traffic, road work, etc. Shorter routes = more on-time deliveries. And more on-time deliveries means less risk of plant down time.

At Sugaright, our mission is to "change the way that people think about sugar" and challenging the paradigm of the traditional refining process.


if you are struggling with inflationary sugar pricing, rising transportation costs, poor service, and meeting sustainability targets now is the time to take a look at your sugar buying strategy.

Contact us to “get close”. Our next refinery could be near you.


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