Managing terminal operations for maximum efficiency: An integrated approach

Refined fuel terminal operations run 24/7. Every hour of activity matters as trucks load to deliver products. And each aspect of every transaction – from inventory reports and lift-control to bills of lading – must be managed and tracked.

Given the highly competitive and regulated nature of the downstream energy business, terminal owners need to maximize efficiency and keep in compliance to lock in profits. So, what’s the best way to oversee terminal management and reporting duties?

Ideally, the entire process should be streamlined, automated, and custom-configurable to meet the demands of individual terminals.

…[it’s time] to rethink how terminal activities and back-office operations function. And make them better.

For owners of multiple terminals, the smart strategy also includes collecting and monitoring data from each operation in a centralized hub to assure all terminal activities are supervised properly. Additionally, the ideal terminal management system should extend to the facility gate, overseeing carrier entrance requirements with as much ease as possible.

By putting in place a comprehensive terminal automation package for secure access and lifting controls, reports, invoices, and myriad other tasks, operators can work smarter to boost profits while mitigating errors and delays.

Terminals lose millions of dollars in sales annually due to inefficiencies. Meanwhile industry partner DTN eases the burdens by offering three distinct products that work together. The trio — DTN Guardian3®, DTN Guardian Host® and Partner Insights — streamline workflow burdens to reduce the total cost of terminal ownership.


DTN Terminal Solutions

DTN offers these three products as Terminal Solutions, with each delivering unique individual benefits to terminal operations:


DTN Guardian3

DTN Guardian3 is a terminal automation system that provides configurable real-time data management tools for almost every task required at an individual terminal to maintain deliveries on schedule and in compliance. It manages security access to the terminal, lifting controls, and inventory monitoring, including quality control.

DTN Guardian3 allows terminals to anticipate shortages, adjust blends, and reconcile gains and losses, while automating paperwork requirements. It’s the key to optimizing all responsibilities involved in storing and delivering fuels.


DTN Guardian Host

DTN Guardian Host provides a single point of management for organizations running multiple terminals. It connects the individual terminals to the centralized back office, enabling terminal operators to compare throughput and operations across multiple terminals with consistent inventory data management.

Consolidating all operational data from separate terminals in one location gives terminal owners the visibility and power to ensure the entire business is operating at peak efficiency.

The impact of the DTN terminal solutions is big for operators… more efficient workflows, with fewer errors and less downtime.


Partner Insights

Partner Insights connects terminals and carriers, allowing secure sharing of driver and vehicle master data, including certifications. Partner Insights is designed to ease the burden of entry requirements on terminals by putting more of the onus on carriers to fulfill their paperwork requirements.

Carriers benefit because the process is highly automated. Terminals benefit because increased collaboration with partners saves time spent resolving delays by centralizing and automating carrier-related tasks.

All three deliver results and value to terminal operations. When packaged as DTN Terminal Solutions, DTN Guardian3, DTN Guardian Host, and Partner Insights represent the most cost-effective way to handle all the management and reporting responsibilities of terminal ownership.

Our terminal solutions benefit from the cumulative industry expertise that DTN understands and provides to downstream oil and gas customers. DTN already serves more than 95% of terminal automation systems with DTN TABS®, which centralizes and automates product allocation, credit, and other customer actions.

DTN has deep industry experience, technical prowess, and customer-centric support, which are evident in the configuration of terminal solutions. With these products, every customer benefits from the proven operational excellence of the DTN terminal automation system. But every single customer also experiences another crucial advantage: commitment to customizing its products – because every terminal operator, and operation, is unique.

This custom configuration approach means that DTN works with every customer on all aspects of DTN Guardian3, DTN Guardian Host and Partner Insights to align all functionality and reporting activities with the needs of the terminal.

Micki Verhagen, a DTN senior operations manager, says DTN offers “a best-of-both-worlds” solution to terminal operators. A proven terminal automation system that has “earned the trust of customers” and “meets all industry-standard needs,” and also acts as a custom product.

“DTN allows you the flexibility to operate the way you operate, not the way everybody else does in the industry,” says Verhagen. “DTN Guardian is configurable, but it’s not custom. This means we can allow you to make your terminal a little more your own – without sacrificing the integrity of the software.”

“We can upgrade you, but you’re not a special case. Some competitors have a customized system for each customer, which means they don’t get the benefit of all the other ideas from the rest of the industry. They only get what they tell their software company they want, and they have to pay for it.”

The impact of the DTN terminal solutions is big for operators: A streamlined, automated, custom-configured terminal automation system for all management and reporting duties leads to more efficient workflows, with fewer errors and less downtime. This means a lower total cost of ownership.

Whether terminal operators are focused on investments in new hardware and software, are new to terminal ownership, or want to bring in a new provider, the opportunity exists with our suite of terminal solutions to rethink how terminal activities and back-office operations function. And make them better.

Terminal operators know their business best. But DTN knows how to provide the support they need to keep the fuel flowing and the trucks running every hour of the day.

To learn more about DTN Terminal Solutions, visit for terminal operators.