Petro-Diamond Inc., the oil-trading firm owned by Mitsubishi Corp., has appointed Inatech to re-engineer and digitize its entire gasoline supply chain through implementing an innovative software platform.

PDI owns a 600,000-barrel terminal in the Port of Long Beach, California, from which it trades and markets petroleum products including gasoline, diesel oil, ethanol, bunker fuels and blended fuel oils. It deals with major oil companies including ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero and Tesoro, as well as the major distributors, public transportation systems such as MTA, and government offices including the US military and police.

Inatech, which is owned by Glencore, specializes in energy trading risk management (ETRM) systems that support the full chain of business processes, from trading to transportation and delivery of oil. Inatech has adapted its core oil-trading product, called Techoil, to the specific needs of PDI, which includes catering to wholesaler distribution of gasoline and refined and renewable fuel products through so-called rack marketing. Inatech will start rolling out its system to at least 30 employees of PDI from the fall, with further integration following in a second phase next year.

“Inatech is the right technology partner for PDI because the management truly understands our business and is willing to work with us to address our specific needs,” said Andy Hausig, President at PDI. “The adapted Techoil software will turbo charge our productivity and improve management decision making across our entire chain of business processes.”

Rack marketing widens the range of options for fuel wholesalers. That also makes decision-making, tracking and profitability assessment far more complex. Under this system, gasoline is piped from PDI’s terminal to the “rack” in Long Beach. From here, wholesaler trucks arrive, load up and distribute. The complexity comes in because the wholesaler has the choice on how the transaction will be priced – either on a contract of so many millions of tons per year, or there and then at the spot price. Following delivery, the wholesaler then circles back to invoice the purchaser.

“We’re delighted that PDI had the vision to bring the US market, which has been traditionally conservative, into the cutting edge of technological innovation through our partnership,” said Jean-Hervé Jenn, Inatech CEO. “In creating these solutions under necessarily tough scrutiny from PDI, we’re confident that we have opened up a new segment of the market.”