Improving Terminal Efficiency and Throughput

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Data integration and functional alignment unlocks terminal efficiency


Context and Challenge

  • Terminal operation at a large lubricant plant with a complex portfolio of over 300 products

  • Tightly constrained loading area with high potential for spills and cross-contamination between 20 compatibility families

  • Terminal operators were spending 3 to 4 hours/day developing and updating the load schedule based on compatibility groupings, tank availability, trailer sequencing, driver time limits and plant constraints

  • Daily, chronic schedule changes required at least an hour of manual updates using the existing scheduling tool. This process was dependent on the knowledge of the lead operator

  • Order status updates required constant verbal exchanges between manufacturing, customers, logistics, and inside sales



  • Identified and mapped actual information flow and decision points for all terminal stakeholders

  • Created and piloted integrated scheduling system to automate the repetitive data input process, eliminate variability, and isolate non-variables, while ensuring product compatibility

  • Developed reports to track real-time order and trailer status. This automatically generated daily performance reporting and allowed order change root causes to be tracked

  • Trained lead operators and back-ups to use and distribute scheduling and reporting tools

  • Developed an integrated daily information channel between terminal and 3PL logistics dispatcher to eliminate erroneous and redundant data entry

The program provided a framework that enabled us to understand key issues and to confront them.
Onshore Manager
Terminal OperationsCorey Wills