Operating a smarter, safer terminal



Jim Xander, Toptech Systems, Inc., USA


Now, more than ever, terminals are faced with greater pressure to increase the efficiency and productivity of their operations, while at the same time, bolstering security measures. What if there was a single provider that could offer tools to manage inventory, schedule product movements, increase the speed and flexibility of loading operations, and support security solutions to verify and monitor access to facilities?

Actually, there is. Toptech Systems offers a wide-variety of solutions that integrate seamlessly to simplify terminaling operations and help solve many of the critical issues present in today’s terminaling environment.

Improved inventory management/scheduling

Traffic at marine terminals is becoming increasingly congested and the efficient scheduling of bulk deliveries is growing more critical. Toptech’s Terminal  Management System (TMS6) provides terminal operators with tools that make this task easier. With TMS6, a terminal operator has access to a graphical view of the
facility’s storage tanks with detailed information regarding product inventory quantities associated with each tank. The flexible stock accounting system even provides features for co-mingled inventory management of product owned by multiple stockholders.

Furthermore, TMS6 offers a comprehensive suite of reports. Some of these reports can aid the terminal operator in identifying product usage trends. These reports, when combined with current inventory data, help take the guesswork out of planning the next product movement.

Increase throughput with streamlined loading

Every terminal operator wants to maximise the amount of product moving out of their facility. In theory, one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to decrease load times. Toptech makes this goal realistic by offering the MultiLoad II load rack control products. MultiLoad II provides the option for an integrated card reader and preset that controls an entire load position. From this common interface the driver cards in and proceeds to enter customer and preset data for as many orders as his vehicle can handle. One customer recently switched to MultiLoad and reported a time savings of up to

20 minutes per load.

Another customer is currently using Toptech’s MultiLoad and TMS to handle a specialised bunker fuel blending application. Using MultiLoad and TMS, this customer can easily create customised bunker fuel recipes each time a barge is loaded. The entire process of building a custom recipe is completed on the dock in a matter of
minutes. Once the recipe is built, MultiLoad controls each component of the blend to ensure that the loaded product matches the recipe.

Verify individuals not credentials

Card readers and PINs have been used to control facility access for many years. The flaw with these security measures is that they do not verify the person that is presenting the information; they simply validate the information that is presented. PINs and cards can be lost, loaned or stolen. Added security measures are necessary to verify the individual entering the facility, not just the information they have presented.

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