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ILTA members, suppliers assemble at 39th International Operating Conference, Trade Show for industry updates, annual safety awards

THE International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) boosted its presence on social media, including adding a new YouTube channel, and then revamped its trade show floor and introduced new educational sessions during the 39th Annual International Operating Conference & Trade Show in Houston, Texas.

The result was another successful showing for the world’s largest gathering of tank and terminal industry professionals.

The association estimates more than 3,600 terminal executives, managers, operations personnel, environmental specialists and suppliers from all 50 states and more than 40 countries participated in the conference and trade show, with more than 650 attendees taking advantage of the conference’s educational sessions and 340 exhibitors showcasing their services and technologies.

“Attendance here this year (was) tremendous,” said Tim Winters, ILTA secretary and director of terminal operations at Sprague Energy.

The five-day event kicked off June 2 with the 23rd annual golf tournament at Wildcat Golf Club in Houston and then played out over four jam-packed days at the Marriott Marquis Houston and George R Brown Convention Center, concluding with popular post-conference training sessions June 5-6.

This year’s 28 conference sessions were broken into four primary tracks, covering environmental, business and operations, health and safety, and security and emergency response issues, and a “mini” international track with topics including Mexican energy markets, hydrocarbon tank digitization and the global tank storage market, which are highlighted in this issue of Bulk Transporter.

Patrick Kulsen, managing director at PJK International—which holds a majority stake in the extensive tank terminals online database—provided an overview of the global storage terminal market, which PJK says is enjoying strong demand that is resulting in a booming business.

“It was my first time here and I enjoyed going to the sessions over the last two days and meeting other people in our industry and hearing about their challenges and their successes, and thinking through ways that we can apply it at our company,” said Marathon Petroleum’s Kelsey Kaminsky.

The business/operations track opened with “What Drives the Driver: Understanding Issues in the Tanker Truck Industry” featuring Dave Edmondson, the vice- president of safety and compliance at J&M Tank Lines, and national chairman of the National Tank Truck Carriers’ safety and security council.

He highlighted NTTC’s mission to serve as the voice of the tank truck industry, and champion safety and success through advocacy and education, including the Zero Distractions campaign the association initiated last year that is aimed at eliminating distracted driving in the motoring public. He also said NTTC is working with tank trailer manufacturers to design better, safer commercial tanks.

“Our biggest push right now is to keep a guy off the top of the tank,” Edmondson said. “How can we spec a tank so a guy doesn’t have to climb on top? And we’re making pretty good headway there.”

Bulk Transporter breaks down Edmondson’s session in this month’s issue, along with sessions on terminal valuations, terminal facility security and the EPA’s rules on Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC).

Melanie Little, senior vice-president of operations at Magellan, provided the opening keynote speech in which she discussed “How to Improve Performance Using Strategy, Outcome and Goals.” Little outlined how a clear vision and an intentional approach to planning can yield results.

Featured speaker Jordy Hendrikx, the director of the Snow and Avalanche Lab at Montana State University, provided a thought-provoking presentation on rethinking risk that drew connections between avalanche safety, normalization of deviance and terminal safety; and author Walter Nusbaum closed the conference with an inspiring address that examined the seven critical traits of successful leaders and teams, and how similar success is achievable by anyone willing to work hard.

ILTA also hosted its 13th annual Safety Awards Presentation on June 4.

The association’s Safety Survey and Recognition Program has honored terminal operating companies for their efforts to promote safety awareness and minimize workplace incidents in the industry since 2007.

This year’s Platinum Safety Awards went to Marathon Petroleum in the large-company division, which includes companies with 200 or more full-time employees, and Motiva Enterprises in the small division. They achieved an average total recordable incident rate (TRIR) of 0.5 or less per 100 employees and submitted descriptions of their safety programs for peer review. 

Energy Transfer and Motiva snared the Five-Year Safety Milestone Awards for their sustained excellence in terminal safety performance every year from 2014 through 2018.

“Safety is the terminal industry’s top priority,” said Jim Dugan, ILTA chairman, and executive vice president and chief operating officer of TransMontaigne Partners. “That’s why it’s so important to celebrate the impressive safety accomplishments of Marathon Petroleum and Motiva—and all of our winners—and encourage all terminal operators to strive for continuous safety improvement.

“ILTA’s safety program not only allows us to measure our industry’s performance but also share success stories and learn from each other.”

The 21 Safety Excellence Award winners, who achieved a TRIR of 0.75 or lower in 2018 (with the incident rate for companies with fewer than 100 full-time employees averaged over multiple years), were Andeavor Logistics, Asphalt Operating Services, Benchmark River and Rail Terminals, Buckeye Partners, Chemserve Terminal of Wilmington, CITGO Petroleum, Demaco Terminal Operations, Energy Transfer, Enterprise Products, Ergon Terminaling, Flint Hills Resources, Martin Operating Partnership, MIPC, Murphy Oil USA, NuStar Energy, Phillips 66, Petro-Diamond Terminal, Plains All American, TransMontaigne Partners, Vopak Americas and Zenith Energy Terminals.

ILTA’s 40th International Operating Conference and Trade Show is set for June 8-10 in Houston, where it will return to the Marriott Marquis, with the trade show taking place in Halls A and B of the GRB convention center. ILTA reported in its July newsletter that 80% of exhibitor space already was sold.


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