As demand for storage space continues to grow and legislation becomes tighter, ensuring industry best practice has become more important than ever.
Achieving greater transparency and best practice in the tank terminal industry has always been challenging.
Cargo owners want to ensure they secure the best and most competitive deal and operators want to maintain high utilisation and throughput rates.
A relatively new concept has emerged in the industry which seeks to secure the best deal for cargo owners while also maximising available capacities at terminals.
Krien van Beek, an independent storage broker at RVB Tank Storage Solutions hopes to improve transparency in the market by building solid foundations of trust with storage operators to secure the best deal for everyone involved.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine, she says: ‘As a broker you can advise to customers what is best practice and this is a service that is received very well.
‘Cargo owners want to find a tank to fit their needs and want to do a deal but they don’t have the time or resources to focus on it. We are constantly in talks with the market and with the terminals about the opportunities they have and we relay this information to cargo owners.
‘It is not just about finding a tank – it is the challenge to find the best match.’
In addition to concluding tank storage agreements the company also provides regular market intelligence reports about the latest storage developments in each region.
‘It is very difficult to get transparency in the market,’ Van Beek adds.
‘If you are not involved in this industry day in and day out then you cannot compare contracts very effectively. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Besides it is not all about price but more about performance and total cost. Variable costs like waiting times and cleaning costs should be taken into account as well.
‘The smaller terminals love this concept – they get to see much more of the market this way and they are very open to it and more willing to disclose their availability.’
Demand for storage is greater in countries that are cheaper and more flexible with their rates and customs rules. Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands for example offer cheaper and more flexible options than France.
Additionally, stricter rules and regulations surrounding tank storage operations are also of growing importance for operators however the lack of an international benchmark does pose some challenges.
‘Unfortunately the standard is not the same internationally. Countries may use the same rules and regulations but they have different benchmarks.
‘Awareness of these rules, especially concerning emissions and vapour control, is growing and many companies are realising that customers expect them to meet these regulations.’
Van Beek will be discussing market intelligence and transparency on the first day of the Tank Storage Germany conference at the Hamburg Messe on November 25 and 26. For more information visit www.tankstoragegermany.com.