As part of its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association will continue to focus on the growth 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 need shift to vegetable diets within the feed industry, and increased use of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, to mention a few. Many United States Of America suppliers who want to survive in an ever-changing marketplace must prepare to compete abroad.
A presence in foreign markets needs a capable logistics partner as well as the right modality. For rendered fats and greases, flexitanks are uniquely suitable for the demands of international transportation, yet the flexibag is simply one half of the equation. Using a vertically integrated flexitank provider reduces risk, miscommunication, along with the challenges of managing multiple points of contact. Shippers should exercise homework while seeking for the appropriate logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you believe it’s costly to engage a professional for the job, hold off until you hire an amateur.” In this spirit, following is a brief background around the flexitank industry and inquiries 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 utilizing a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the market.
The main benefit flexitanks offer nonhazardous liquids, including animal fats and recycled oils, is a decrease in unit shipping costs by maximizing product payload. By some estimates, just as much as 30 percent more product might be shipped per container using flexitanks as compared with totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The security of product and personnel ought not to be overlooked. In the end, what good is a competitive freight rate if product is rejected or personnel are injured? The only-layer, single-use Oil Flexibag 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 sometimes entry by cleaning personnel, flexitanks are a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is absolutely no likelihood of moisture resulting from inadequate cleaning practices or condensation due to fluctuations in ambient temperature. Both of them are common causes for rejection of ISO tanks by loading supervisors.
Personnel should not need to manually manipulate the flexitank to accomplish a total discharge. There is a common misconception that flexitanks has to be “rolled such as a toothpaste tube” to have each of the product out. Shippers are often surprised to learn this is a breach of health and safety protocol. The one-layer flexitank system was created to be operated externally – no climbing into or along with the container much like ISO tanks. Translucent material is yet another benefit of single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to view this product in the flexitank during loading and discharge, an issue that is not possible with multilayer flexitanks due to an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety is simplicity of use. Full-providers request the container to reach pre-fit on the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned under the flexitank to promote efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks are equipped with a similar cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors to the current day flexitank enjoyed a valve ahead, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the base of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure results in a much better experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They may be recycled for usage in consumer packaging, geomembranes, as well as other large-scale applications.
First, shippers should elect to work with globally integrated providers. Many businesses that manufacture flexitanks do not get involved in the logistics process and the other way round. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not possess appropriate technical support over a global scale.
Second, shippers ought to know how to look flexitank providers and separate expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. The next questions should help shippers work through marketing gimmicks and discover a solid partner having a global network.
Just how many wholly-owned factories does the corporation have? If none, they might have difficulty guaranteeing quality without governing the methods of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to make certain quality. The most costly flexitank is really a cheap flexitank.
So how exactly does the logistics provider guarantee flexitanks are not sourced from different manufacturers? Quality standards vary among flexitank manufacturers. Shippers should expect the same quality product whether they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories are hard to manage so positioning flexitanks in order to satisfy shipper demand needs to be handled by way of a dedicated fleet manager to guarantee 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 better product and more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is available, as well as what cost? Tech support should be within the door-to-port/door rate and available globally night and day. Technical personnel should be onsite for load and discharge to exercise plant personnel so when needed throughout the supply chain.
The number of full-time technical personnel are hired by the corporation? Where are they located? Ask the provider to tell apart between dedicated technical personnel and sales or other staff doubling as technicians.
How many facilities and offices does the business have globally? Can they communicate inside the local language of your customer? Ask the provider to tell apart between their very own offices and third-party agents to comprehend the dimensions of their network and the capital investment they already have made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are delivered to customers? Shippers should have the option to acquire regular, automated reports detailing transit times, expected departure and arrival dates, container numbers, vessel changes, non-conformities, and so on.
How are non-conformities measured? Anything that leads to a delay or disruption within the supply chain must be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated to the shipper straight away.
What insurance guarantees are given? Marine cargo transit insurance covers all modes of transport, namely sea, road, rail, or inland waterways. Product and freight must be covered within the policy. Shippers should also confirm whether general average is covered beneath the standard policy.
Just what is the deductible in case of a loss? Some flexitank service providers give you a no-deductible policy for a good premium.
Once shippers find a globally integrated logistics partner, opt for door-to-port/door service. The right partner will consolidate tasks and offer support at critical points in the supply chain. This implies fewer vendors to control, less invoicing, reduced probability of miscommunication and delays, as well as a transfer of liability from their business. Who doesn’t want that?