Included in its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association continue to focus on the creation 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 within the feed industry, and increased utilization of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, among others. Many United States suppliers who would like to survive in a ever-changing marketplace must prepare to compete abroad.
A presence in foreign markets demands a capable logistics partner along with the right modality. For rendered fats and greases, flexitanks are uniquely suitable for the needs of international transportation, however the flexi bag is only 50 % of the equation. Working with a vertically integrated flexitank provider reduces risk, miscommunication, and 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 feel it’s costly to work with a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” Because spirit, following is a brief background in the flexitank industry and questions to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
From the 1980s on the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that must 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 single-layer, recyclable flexitank was perfected using a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the marketplace.
The principal 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, up to 30 percent more product may be shipped per container using flexitanks when compared with totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The protection of product and personnel really should not be overlooked. All things considered, what good is a competitive freight rate if item is rejected or personnel are injured? The only-layer, single-use Oil Flexitank 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 can be a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is not any risk of moisture as a result of 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 achieve a total discharge. There exists a common misconception that flexitanks must be “rolled such as a toothpaste tube” to acquire each of the product out. Shippers are frequently surprised to discover it is a breach of health and safety protocol. The single-layer flexitank system was created to be operated externally – no climbing into or in addition to the container similar to ISO tanks. Translucent material can be another good thing about single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to find out the merchandise from the flexitank during loading and discharge, something that is not possible with multilayer flexitanks on account of an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety is simplicity. Full-companies plan for the container to come pre-fit in the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned underneath the flexitank to advertise efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks include the same cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors on the current day flexitank enjoyed a valve ahead, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the bottom of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure makes for a better experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They are often recycled for use in consumer packaging, geomembranes, and other large-scale applications.
First, shippers should elect to work alongside globally integrated providers. Most companies that manufacture flexitanks will not take part in the logistics process and vice versa. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not have appropriate tech support with a global scale.
Second, shippers should know how to shop flexitank providers and separate expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. These questions should help shippers get past marketing gimmicks and find a robust partner having a global network.
The amount of wholly-owned factories does the company have? If none, they can have difficulty guaranteeing quality without controlling the way of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to guarantee quality. The costliest flexitank can be a cheap flexitank.
How can the logistics provider guarantee flexitanks are not sourced from different manufacturers? Quality standards vary among flexitank manufacturers. Shippers should expect the same quality product if they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories are difficult to manage so positioning flexitanks to meet shipper demand needs to be handled with 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 corporation? Scale matters, as does a collaborative design process, which yields a much better product and more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is available, as well as at what cost? Technical support should be contained in the door-to-port/door rate and available globally 24 hours a day. Technical personnel must be onsite for load and discharge to exercise plant personnel so when needed during the entire supply chain.
Just how many full-time technical personnel are hired by the organization? Where could they be located? Ask the provider to distinguish between dedicated technical personnel and sales or some other staff doubling as technicians.
The number of facilities and offices does the company have globally? Would they communicate in the local language of your own customer? Ask the provider to differentiate between their own personal offices and third-party agents to know the actual size of their network along with the capital investment they have got made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are sent to customers? Shippers should have the choice to obtain 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 in the supply chain must be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated towards the shipper without delay.
What insurance guarantees are available? Marine cargo transit insurance covers all modes of transport, namely sea, road, rail, or inland waterways. Product and freight must be covered under the policy. Shippers must also confirm whether general average is included within the standard policy.
Just what is the deductible in the case of a loss? Some heating pad providers give a no-deductible insurance policy for an acceptable premium.
Once shippers get a globally integrated logistics partner, go for door-to-port/door service. The right partner will consolidate tasks and present support at critical points from the supply chain. This means fewer vendors to manage, less invoicing, reduced chances of miscommunication and delays, and a transfer of liability clear of their business. Who doesn’t want that?