Within its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association continues to target the development of international markets. This attention is timely considering the new realities taking shape for North American renderers: opening of China markets for tallow and poultry products, a need shift to vegetable diets inside the feed industry, and increased usage of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, among others. Many U . S . suppliers who wish to survive inside 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 fitted to the needs of international transportation, however the flexibag is only half 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 in searching for the right logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you imagine it’s expensive to hire a professional for the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” For the reason that spirit, following can be a brief background about the flexitank industry and questions to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
In the 1980s on the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that had to be repositioned and cleaned between loads, contributing to costs and lead times for shippers. This made them operationally indistinguishable from International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tanks. In 2001, the only-layer, recyclable flexitank was perfected employing a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the industry.
The key 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 can 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. After all, what good is a competitive freight rate if product is rejected or personnel are injured? The one-layer, single-use Oil Flexibag produced 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 no likelihood of moisture resulting from inadequate cleaning practices or condensation on account 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 total discharge. There is a common misconception that flexitanks needs to be “rolled such as a toothpaste tube” to get all of the product out. Shippers are often surprised to learn this is a breach of safety and health protocol. The only-layer flexitank system is made to be operated externally – no climbing into or on top of the container just like ISO tanks. Translucent material is yet another benefit of single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to find out the item within the flexitank during loading and discharge, a thing that is not possible with multilayer flexitanks as a result of an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety is ease of use. Full-agencies arrange for the container to come pre-fit on 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 come with the identical cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors towards the present day flexitank had a valve on the top, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the foot of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure creates a better experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They are often recycled to be used in consumer packaging, geomembranes, along with other large-scale applications.
First, shippers should elect to work with globally integrated providers. A lot of companies that manufacture flexitanks will 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 a global scale.
Second, shippers should know how to look flexitank providers and separate expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. These questions should help shippers get past marketing gimmicks and locate a powerful partner using a global network.
The number of wholly-owned factories does the business have? If none, they can have difficulty guaranteeing quality without governing the methods of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to ensure quality. The highest priced flexitank is 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 exactly the same quality product if they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories are difficult to control so positioning flexitanks to fulfill shipper demand ought to be handled by a dedicated fleet manager to make sure flexitanks are properly handled and meet uniform quality standards.
Just how many research and development staff are hired by the organization? Scale matters, as does a collaborative design process, which yields a greater product and a lot more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is available, as well as what cost? Tech support ought to be included in the door-to-port/door rate and available globally 24 hours a day. Technical personnel needs to be onsite for load and discharge to teach plant personnel so that as needed through the supply chain.
The number of full time technical personnel are hired by the business? Where are they located? Ask the provider to distinguish between dedicated technical personnel and sales or some other staff doubling as technicians.
Just how many facilities and offices does the company have globally? Can they communicate within the local language of your own customer? Ask the provider to differentiate between their particular offices and third-party agents to know the dimensions of their network and the capital investment they have got made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are delivered 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 on.
How are non-conformities measured? Something that leads to a delay or disruption inside the supply chain needs to be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated towards the shipper without delay.
What insurance guarantees are offered? Marine cargo transit insurance covers all modes of transport, namely sea, road, rail, or inland waterways. Product and freight must be covered beneath the policy. Shippers must also confirm whether general average is covered beneath the standard policy.
What exactly is the deductible in case of a loss? Some flexitank service providers give you a no-deductible policy for a fair premium.
Once shippers get a globally integrated logistics partner, select door-to-port/door service. The correct partner will consolidate tasks and present support at critical points within the supply chain. What this means is fewer vendors to manage, less invoicing, reduced chances of miscommunication and delays, along with a transfer of liability clear of their business. Who doesn’t want that?