Within its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association will continue to focus on the development of international markets. This attention is timely given the new realities taking shape for North American renderers: opening of China markets for tallow and poultry products, a demand shift to vegetable diets in the feed industry, and increased use of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, to name a few. Many Usa suppliers who would like to survive in an ever-changing marketplace must prepare to compete abroad.
A presence in foreign markets needs a capable logistics partner and also the right modality. For rendered fats and greases, flexitanks are uniquely suited to the requirements of international transportation, however the flexi bag is simply 50 % of the equation. Employing a vertically integrated flexitank provider reduces risk, miscommunication, and also the challenges of managing multiple points of contact. Shippers should exercise due diligence while seeking for the ideal logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you think it’s costly to work with a professional for the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” In that spirit, following is a brief background on the flexitank industry and questions to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
From your 1980s to the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that must be repositioned and cleaned between loads, increasing costs and lead times for shippers. This too made them operationally indistinguishable from International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tanks. In 2001, the one-layer, recyclable flexitank was perfected by using a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the market.
The principal benefit flexitanks offer nonhazardous liquids, including animal fats and recycled oils, is a reduction in unit shipping costs by maximizing product payload. By some estimates, around 30 percent more product could be shipped per container using flexitanks as compared to totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The safety of product and personnel ought not to be overlooked. All things considered, what good is actually a competitive freight rate if product is rejected or personnel are injured? The single-layer, single-use ISO tank made out of virgin polyethylene is kosher, halal, European Union, and Food and Drug Administration compliant, and eliminates contamination risk from prior products. Unlike ISO tanks, which require repeated washes and in some cases entry by cleaning personnel, flexitanks can be a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is not any likelihood of moisture caused by inadequate cleaning practices or condensation as a result of fluctuations in ambient temperature. Both of these are common causes for rejection of ISO tanks by loading supervisors.
Personnel should not need to manually manipulate the flexitank to obtain a complete discharge. There exists a common misconception that flexitanks should be “rolled like a toothpaste tube” to acquire all the product out. Shippers tend to be surprised to learn this is a breach of safety and health protocol. The only-layer flexitank system is designed to be operated externally – no climbing into or on top of the container similar to ISO tanks. Translucent material is yet another advantage of single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to find out this product from the flexitank during loading and discharge, a thing that is not possible with multilayer flexitanks on account of an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety factors are ease of use. Full-companies arrange for the container to reach pre-fit in the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned under the flexitank to market efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks include exactly the same cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors for the current day flexitank experienced a valve at the top, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the foot of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure results in a better experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They can be recycled to be used in consumer packaging, geomembranes, along with other large-scale applications.
First, shippers should elect to work alongside globally integrated providers. Many businesses that manufacture flexitanks do not get involved in the logistics process and vice versa. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not possess appropriate tech support on a global scale.
Second, shippers should know how to buy flexitank providers and separate expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. The next questions should help shippers work through marketing gimmicks and locate a strong partner having a global network.
How many wholly-owned factories does the business have? If none, they can have difficulty guaranteeing quality without managing the method of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to make certain quality. The most expensive flexitank is a cheap flexitank.
How does the logistics provider guarantee flexitanks will not be sourced from different manufacturers? Quality standards vary among flexitank manufacturers. Shippers should expect a similar quality product whether or not they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories are difficult to handle so positioning flexitanks to meet shipper demand ought to be handled by a dedicated fleet manager to ensure flexitanks are properly handled and meet uniform quality standards.
How many research and development staff are utilized by the organization? Scale matters, along with a collaborative design process, which yields a much better product and more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is provided, as well as what cost? Technical support should be included in the door-to-port/door rate and available globally 24 hours a day. Technical personnel should be onsite for load and discharge to exercise plant personnel so when needed through the supply chain.
How many full-time technical personnel are used by the business? Where could they be located? Ask the provider to differentiate between dedicated technical personnel and sales or any other staff doubling as technicians.
Just how many facilities and offices does the organization have globally? Would they communicate from the local language of your customer? Ask the provider to tell apart between their own personal offices and third-party agents to understand the dimensions of their network and also the capital investment they have got made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are shipped to customers? Shippers should have the choice to receive regular, automated reports detailing transit times, expected departure and arrival dates, container numbers, vessel changes, non-conformities, and so forth.
How are non-conformities measured? Whatever creates a delay or disruption within the supply chain needs to be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated to the shipper straight away.
What insurance guarantees are offered? Marine cargo transit insurance covers all modes of transport, namely sea, road, rail, or inland waterways. Product and freight needs to be covered under the policy. Shippers must also confirm whether general average is covered beneath the standard policy.
Just what is the deductible in the case of a loss? Some bulk liquid providers provide a no-deductible policy for a fair premium.
Once shippers find a globally integrated logistics partner, select door-to-port/door service. The right partner will consolidate tasks and offer support at critical points from the supply chain. This means fewer vendors to manage, less invoicing, reduced likelihood of miscommunication and delays, plus a transfer of liability clear of their business. Who doesn’t want that?