Liquid terminals and aboveground storage tank facilities (tank farms) interconnect with and provide services to the various modes of liquid transportation, including ships, barges, tank trucks, rail cars and pipelines. The commodities handled include a large variety of chemicals, along with crude oil, petroleum products, renewable fuels, asphalt, animal fats and oils, vegetable oils, molasses, and fertilizers. The customers who store products at these facilities include oil producers and chemical manufacturers, product manufacturers, food growers and producers, utilities, transportation companies, commodity brokers, government agencies and the military.
A Terminal’s Role in Transportation and Distribution
Terminals serve the vital economic purpose of transferring liquid products from one mode of transportation to another. For example, an oceangoing tanker carrying crude oil will arrive at a port and dock at a terminal where the oil is unloaded and transferred to a refinery. Likewise, a refined petroleum product, such as gasoline, will be shipped in large batches by pipeline to a distribution terminal. The fuel is initially stored at the terminal in aboveground storage tanks, and then loaded into tank trucks at the terminal's loading rack. The fuel is then delivered to retail gasoline stations where it is transferred from the trucks to underground storage tanks that feed the pumps that supply gasoline to consumers.
Terminals Mean Jobs in Communities
Terminal members are located in more than 700 communities around the world. In each of these locations, these companies provide good-paying jobs, and they also pay property taxes to the local government. Whether these facilities are located in a port, on a river, or along a pipeline, they are creating a positive economic impact in their local communities. Terminals offer employment opportunities in operations, engineering, environmental management, safety, information technology, security, sales, marketing, business development and many other disciplines.
ILTA supplier members provide a wide variety of equipment and services to the bulk liquid terminal and tank storage industry. Some organizations assist in obtaining building permits. Others build the tanks, the dikes, the docks, and provide the engineering and construction services. Others provide truck loading racks, gauges, meters, pumps, piping and valves, for example, to complete or expand the physical plant. Operating services and equipment such as terminal automation, heating equipment, insulation, and cathodic protection are also provided, in addition to others too numerous to mention. The equipment and services that ILTA supplier members offer are invaluable to the maintenance of terminal operations and to the efficient, economical and safe distribution of liquid commodities throughout the world.