One of the biggest issues of suppliers and their customers is the differing formats and speeds of generating and processing Bill of Landings (BOLs) across a network of third party terminals. Lifting control systems offer electronic billing, which is beneficial for both buyers and suppliers. However, these benefits cannot be full enjoyed due to the varying standards used by terminals. For lifting control systems to connect suppliers, customers and trading partners, they need cost-effective and successful connectivity.
How do the lifting control systems communicate?
They communicate in three levels. First, the driver cards in and chooses a customer by entering their identification and load information. The TAS sends a request for authorization. Next, the lifting control systems check customer and terminal allocations and authorization, then sends it back to TAS. Once the products are pulled, the TAS generates and sends the eBOL to the system, decreasing customer and supply allocations.
In the US, the adoption of PIDX standards has allowed the use of lifting control systems to flourish. Nearly all suppliers connect to terminals to manage supply and billing. In fact, almost 100% of downstream transactions are managed this way. However, it is different in Europe. The continent is more diverse. It is more reluctant to participate in this level of information and control. Of course, information communications standards differ from one country to another, constricting the use of lifting control systems.
The need to adapt was first undertaken by the PIDX in 2010. The Downstream Workgroup established a project that focused on this initiative with efforts from companies in the oil and gas industry, including Shell and others. In 2013, PIDX v5 was approved to meet the standardization challenges in Europe.