Petroleum Terminal Productivity

Optimize productivity in your petroleum refined-product terminal operations, while improving cost performance.


In today’s competitive market, it is critical to continuously optimize productivity in your petroleum refined product terminal operations, while improving cost performance. Solomon's Worldwide Petroleum Terminal Productivity Analysis (PTPA Study) is designed to help bulk liquid terminal facilities, specifically, refined-product truck-loading/delivery terminals, increase overall corporate profitability and provide insight to improve operational productivity, reduce costs, and enhance effectiveness and efficiency of personnel directly related support functions.

The PTPA Study analyzes and compares refined product terminal operations based on prime receipt modes using our Comparative Performance Analysis™ (CPA™), cost gap analysis, and logistics knowledge to define terminal-specific targets and market-based network goals.

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Additional KPI’s provided on labor productivity, energy consumption, tank turnovers and rack utilization have proved valuable insight to ensure we utilize our asset base consistently with our competition and improve within our market base. STUDY PARTICIPANT

Leverage a vetted, proprietary, international performance database of over 500 petroleum terminals worldwide
(includes marketing and truck rack terminals).

  • Pipeline
  • Barge
  • Tanker
  • Pipeline & Marine Terminals
  • Road & Rail
  • Refinery
  • How does my performance compare; is it significantly different from others?
  • How does my cost performance compare to other refined product truck loading terminals in my region?
  • How do my tank integrity costs compare to competitors?
  • How do my reliability and maintenance costs compare to the top performers?
  • What is the value of closing my performance gaps compared to peers?
  • How well am I operating the refined product terminal facilities I have?

Terminal cost performance data is analyzed against best-fit regression lines to identify terminal opportunity gaps. Cost performance for labor, maintenance, electricity, and all other expenses is regressed against terminal throughput; real estate taxes is regressed against replacement value. The regression line represents a second and third performance quartile breakpoint (Figure 1). If the terminal lands above the line, there is a gap closure opportunity. If the terminal lands below the line, there is a favorable gap.

Figure 1. Cost Performance Regression Gap Analysis

This in-depth detailed analysis allows you to accurately measure current asset performance and see a realistic view of your competitive position. Study results provide you with recommendations to improve productivity and performance in labor, maintenance and repair costs, electricity, real estate taxes, tank integrity, energy cost and consumption, and reliability.

Why Participate?

  • Identify and quantify terminal performance gaps by comparing each facility on a cost per throughput basis.
  • Maintain tank integrity while reducing costs.
  • Compare performance for refined product truck loading and marketing based on prime receipt modes.
  • Define terminal-specific targets and market-based network goals.
  • Feed action plans for continuous improvement.
  • Guide storage tank utilization decision-making.
  • Determine competitive and market industry position.

Study Deliverables

Study participants receive the following:

  • Quantified gap analysis provided on OpEx, personnel cost, personnel work hours vs price, and energy.
  • Peer and market performance comparisons and rankings.
  • Executive summary presentation with actionable insight supported by study data.
  • Customized diagnostic analysis, including conclusions, recommendations, and valued opportunity potential for each asset.
  • Private debriefings with Solomon operations advisors.

Performance is assessed across the following areas: 

  • Total Cash OpEx
  • Maintenance and repair costs
  • Personnel effectiveness
  • Reliability and safety
  • Tank Integrity practices and costs
  • Capital Investment (CapEx)
  • Energy costs and consumption
  • Real Estate Taxes
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PTPA Trucking Add-on:

As an add-on to the PTPA Study, Solomon offers a PTPA Trucking Study to analyze the efficiencies of on-site and off-site operations.
Metrics for the trucking study include:

  • Fleet productivity and utilization
  • Company fleet vs common carrier analysis
  • Opportunity gap analysis based on trip distance and cost
  • Truck and driver utilization
  • Reliability: spills, runouts, accidents, and driver safety

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A: The Worldwide Petroleum Terminal Productivity Analysis (PTPA Study) uses Solomon’s proprietary Comparative Performance Analysis™ (CPA™) methodology to provide a comprehensive external assessment of KPIs and productivity in operations for refined product truck loading/delivery terminal facilities (including marketing terminals). The PTPA Study segments terminals by prime receipt modes. The analysis prioritizes cost, productivity, and reliability KPIs that drive unit costs and facility performance. Results provide improvement opportunities in the areas of tank integrity, reliability, maintenance & repair costs, energy costs and consumption, and personnel effectiveness.

A: In the PTPA Study, terminal throughput, as expressed in thousands of barrels (cubic meters), is used as a means of normalizing performance data for comparison.

A: The PTPA Study is open to refined product terminals from receiving flange of primary bulk terminals to the loading rack as well as staff support included in truck dispatching and supervision, and headquarters/regional management and staff.

A: Solomon’s Liquid Terminal Study analyzes all types of liquid terminals (refined, natural gas liquids, and crude oil) and terminal facility complexities of all sizes and configurations. On the other hand, the PTPA Study analyzes only petroleum refined-product truck loading and delivery terminal facilities. The terminals analyzed in the PTPA Study are not complex terminals. They are facilities that receive products by pipeline or marine and deliver out by truck. The peer groups also differ for both of the studies.

A: Solomon recently added sustainability metrics to assist your facilities in promoting strategies that support energy efficiency, emissions reductions and decarbonization.

  • Carbon Emissions Index (CEI) – Solomon has developed a PTPA Study CEI, a metric introduced in 2007 for the Solomon Fuels Study. CEI, the primary metric for GHG emissions, measures direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) emissions. CEI considers electricity fuel mix, sources of thermal energy, gasoline and crude oil loading emissions, and vapor control methods as the foundations for GHG calculations.

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Gain Actionable Insight

Learn How You Can Participate

Participation in the PTPA Study will allow you to accurately measure current asset performance, which provides a sound and consistent basis for you to manage continuous process improvements. The study first segregates data into six prime receipt mode categories (i.e., pipeline, barge, tanker, pipeline & marine, road & rail, refinery) and then using a gap analysis identifies opportunities to improve productivity in your refined product terminal operations and directly related support functions, such as headquarters and regional management. The resulting analysis gives a true view of where you stand and provides insight to sustainably improve reliability, labor, maintenance and repair costs, energy cost and consumption, and tank integrity. Join others who leverage the PTPA Study to guide them to higher levels of sustainable business performance and cost optimization.

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Data Quality, Benchmarking Methodology

A Foundation for Effective Comparative Performance Analysis and Decision Support

We prioritize the integrity and confidentiality of participant-submitted data and rigorously review that data before benchmarking begins. Then, we employ our normalization process and benchmarking methodology to provide valuable and trusted peer group comparisons that deliver meaningful KPIs. Finally, our staff of senior consultants apply their deep industry experience to develop practical insight and recommendations to enable your success.

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