As an element of its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association continue to concentrate 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 within the feed industry, and increased use of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, for example. Many United States suppliers who would like to survive inside an ever-changing marketplace must prepare to compete abroad.
A presence in foreign markets takes a capable logistics partner and also the right modality. For rendered fats and greases, flexitanks are uniquely suited to the needs of international transportation, yet the flexi bag is simply half of the equation. By 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 best logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you imagine it’s expensive to hire a professional to complete the job, hold off until you hire an amateur.” Because spirit, following is a brief background about the flexitank industry and inquiries to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
From your 1980s on the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that must be repositioned and cleaned between loads, contributing to 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 using a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the current market.
The key 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 could be shipped per container using flexitanks as compared with totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The security of product and personnel really should not be overlooked. All things considered, what good is actually a competitive freight rate if product is rejected or personnel are injured? The only-layer, single-use chemical Flexi tank 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 in some cases entry by cleaning personnel, flexitanks certainly are a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is not any chance of moisture due to inadequate cleaning practices or condensation because of fluctuations in ambient temperature. They are both common causes for rejection of ISO tanks by loading supervisors.
Personnel should not have to manually manipulate the flexitank to accomplish an entire discharge. You will discover a common misconception that flexitanks has to be “rolled just like a toothpaste tube” to have all the product out. Shippers are usually surprised to find out this is a breach of health and safety protocol. The one-layer flexitank system was designed to be operated externally – no climbing into or in addition to the container as with ISO tanks. Translucent material can be another advantage of single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to view the item from the flexitank during loading and discharge, something that is just not possible with multilayer flexitanks due to an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety is convenience. Full-service providers plan for the container to come pre-fit in the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned under the flexitank to enhance efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks have the identical cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors on the present day flexitank had a valve on the top, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the base of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure results in an improved experience for receivers.
Finally, single-layer flexitanks are sustainably designed. They could 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. Most companies that manufacture flexitanks tend not to take part in the logistics process and the other way around. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not have appropriate tech support on the global scale.
Second, shippers ought to know how to purchase flexitank providers and distinguish between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. The subsequent questions should help shippers get past marketing gimmicks and discover a robust partner by using a global network.
Just how many wholly-owned factories does the company have? If none, they could have difficulty guaranteeing quality without manipulating the methods of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to make certain quality. The costliest flexitank can be a cheap flexitank.
How can the logistics provider guarantee flexitanks usually are not 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 take time and effort to manage so positioning flexitanks to satisfy shipper demand ought to be handled by a dedicated fleet manager to guarantee flexitanks are properly handled and meet uniform quality standards.
Just how many research and development staff are used by the company? Scale matters, along with a collaborative design process, which yields a greater product and a lot more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is provided, and also at what cost? Tech support must be contained 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 and as needed throughout the supply chain.
How many full time technical personnel are employed by the company? Where will they be located? Ask the provider to differentiate between dedicated technical personnel and sales or some other staff doubling as technicians.
How many facilities and offices does the organization have globally? Would they communicate within the local language of your customer? Ask the provider to tell apart between their own offices and third-party agents to learn how big their network as well as the capital investment they may have made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are brought to customers? Shippers should have the option 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 creates a delay or disruption from the supply chain needs to be investigated by qualified personnel (often technical managers), documented, 95dexlpky communicated on 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 should be covered within the policy. Shippers should also confirm whether general average is protected under the standard policy.
What is the deductible in the case of a loss? Some heating pad providers give you a no-deductible insurance policy for an acceptable premium.
Once shippers look for a globally integrated logistics partner, go for door-to-port/door service. The right partner will consolidate tasks and provide support at critical points inside the supply chain. This means fewer vendors to manage, less invoicing, reduced probability of miscommunication and delays, along with a transfer of liability from their business. Who doesn’t want that?