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What we learned from ILTA 2023

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

The International Liquid Terminal Association (ILTA) conference and trade show 2023 was held in Houston, Texas, on 22-24 May. As a key media partner, Tank Storage Magazine sent journalist, Cyann Fielding, and editor Anamika Talwaria, to report on the conference and connect with terminal operators, before heading down to the tradeshow.

Houston is widely recognised as a global hub for the oil and gas industry. As the host city for ILTA 2023, it offered attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves in a thriving energy ecosystem, with access to numerous companies, industry leaders, and specialised expertise.

The conference provided a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, industry insights, and networking opportunities, making it a must-attend event for anyone involved in the liquid terminal sector. It was just the place for terminal professionals to gather industry-specific knowledge, insights, and best practices that directly relate to their work and challenges.

 

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

This year’s high-quality sessions really stood out. In particular, the panel on encouraging workers from the next generation, chaired by Burns & McDonnell’s Caitlin Geisinger, was a provocative discussion looking at the differences in managing and communicating with workers across generations. The panel was made up of young people across the terminals industry and provided an opportunity to discuss communication, flexible working and, crucially, the education gap between those within the industry and the general public. The consensus was that education needs to start earlier, in order to encourage younger generations into the workforce.

Other conference sessions looked at terminal operations, safety protocols, environmental issues, emerging technologies, and regulatory compliance. The speakers’ depth of knowledge and their ability to address the challenges and opportunities faced by the industry was impressive and provided attendees with valuable insights and actionable takeaways.

There was an update from OSHA, with in-use cases as a guide. Plus discussions on emissions and environmental safety, and tank corrosion.

With the digital revolution on the horizon, speakers from HyBird and Voovio had the opportunity to highlight their solutions to terminal operators. The former partnered with Magellan, with a case study of how it’s augmented reality solution can transform terminal management. The latter took the opportunity to introduce its solution for future-proofing the workforce through simulative training. Voovio suggests that traditional onboarding methods will no longer be effective as the skills gap widens, so its photorealistic simulation allows users to interact with virtual equipment and learn by doing. It also tracks data to identify knowledge gaps and helps focus training efforts where needed, helping terminals to optimise their expertise and ensure efficient knowledge transfer.

 

FACE-TO-FACE WITH CLIENTS

ILTA held a Women in Tanks networking session, attended by the Tank Storage Magazine team. President, Kathryn Clay, delivered a heartfelt speech about the importance of diversity of thought and having women at the table. It was certainly impressive to see just how many women showed up for the event.

And of course, networking parties were held for conference delegates, trade show attendees and exhibitors by Zeeco and TF Warren on the first and second days respectively. The opportunity to talk to so many of our advertisers was much appreciated, and it was great getting to know our US clients more and more over the week. Attendees came from across the world, so the bar really was the place to be to meet new professionals in the industry and get the ball rolling on global projects.

The exhibition floor exhibited an array of liquid terminal equipment, from valves and pumps, to a full-size Zeeco loading truck and a mock-up of stair equipment from Sam Carbis Solutions. Plus, Mesa ETP launched a brand new product on day one of the trade show – you can read all about it here.

What’s more, the trade show floor was absolutely packed with visitors on both days, providing excellent opportunities for new leads and reconnecting with existing partners and clients.

So don’t miss your chance to be part of next year’s event. Save the date: 6-8 May 2024

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