As an element of its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association continues to pay attention to the development of international markets. This attention is timely because of the new realities taking shape for North American renderers: opening of China markets for tallow and poultry products, a need shift to vegetable diets from the feed industry, and increased usage of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, for example. Many United States suppliers who would like to survive within an ever-changing marketplace must prepare to compete abroad.
A presence in foreign markets requires a capable logistics partner and also the right modality. For rendered fats and greases, flexitanks are uniquely suited to the demands of international transportation, however the flexitank is simply 1 / 2 of the equation. By using a vertically integrated flexitank provider reduces risk, miscommunication, and also the challenges of managing multiple points of contact. Shippers should exercise homework in searching for the right logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you believe it’s costly to hire a professional to complete the job, delay until you hire an amateur.” In that spirit, following is a brief background on the flexitank industry and inquiries to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
Through the 1980s to the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that had to be repositioned and cleaned between loads, adding to costs and lead times for shippers. This also made them operationally indistinguishable from International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tanks. In 2001, the only-layer, recyclable flexitank was perfected using a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the market.
The main 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, just as much as 30 percent more product might be shipped per container using flexitanks when compared with totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The security of product and personnel really should not be overlooked. After all, what good is really a competitive freight rate if product is rejected or personnel are injured? The only-layer, single-use Oil Flexitank made from 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 quite often entry by cleaning personnel, flexitanks can be a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is absolutely no chance of moisture due to inadequate cleaning practices or condensation on account of fluctuations in ambient temperature. Both are common causes for rejection of ISO tanks by loading supervisors.
Personnel should not have to manually manipulate the flexitank to obtain a complete discharge. You will discover a common misconception that flexitanks has to be “rolled just like a toothpaste tube” to get every one of the product out. Shippers are frequently surprised to learn this really is a breach of safety and health protocol. The one-layer flexitank system is made to be operated externally – no climbing into or on top of the container similar to ISO tanks. Translucent material can be another benefit from single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to find out this product from the flexitank during loading and discharge, a thing that will not be 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-service providers request the container to arrive pre-fit at the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned within the flexitank to promote efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks have the same cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors on the current day flexitank experienced a valve ahead, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the base of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure makes for a much better experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They could be recycled for usage in consumer packaging, geomembranes, as well as other large-scale applications.
First, shippers should elect to use globally integrated providers. Some companies that manufacture flexitanks do not get involved in the logistics process and the other way round. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not have appropriate technical support on the global scale.
Second, shippers should know how to buy flexitank providers and distinguish between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. These questions should help shippers get past marketing gimmicks and discover a strong partner with a global network.
The number of wholly-owned factories does the corporation have? If none, they may have difficulty guaranteeing quality without managing the methods of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to ensure quality. The most expensive flexitank is really 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 the identical quality product whether or not they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories are hard to handle so positioning flexitanks to meet shipper demand ought to be handled with a dedicated fleet manager to ensure flexitanks are properly handled and meet uniform quality standards.
Just how many research and development staff are hired by the business? Scale matters, as does a collaborative design process, which yields a much better product and much more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service exists, as well as what cost? Technical support must be in the door-to-port/door rate and available globally night and day. Technical personnel ought to be onsite for load and discharge to coach plant personnel so when needed during the entire supply chain.
Just how many full time technical personnel are employed by the company? Where is it located? Ask the provider to tell apart between dedicated technical personnel and sales or another staff doubling as technicians.
The number of facilities and offices does the business have globally? Can they communicate within the local language of your own customer? Ask the provider to differentiate between their very own offices and third-party agents to know how big their network along with the capital investment they have made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are shipped to customers? Shippers should have the option to get 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? Anything that leads to a delay or disruption within the supply chain should be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated towards the shipper at once.
What insurance guarantees are provided? 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 also needs to confirm whether general average is protected within the standard policy.
Just what is the deductible in the case of a loss? Some flexitank service providers give a no-deductible insurance policy for a reasonable premium.
Once shippers find a globally integrated logistics partner, select door-to-port/door service. The correct partner will consolidate tasks and present support at critical points inside the supply chain. This simply means fewer vendors to manage, less invoicing, reduced likelihood of miscommunication and delays, plus a transfer of liability away from their business. Who doesn’t want that?