As an element of its 2020 Strategic Plan, the National Renderers Association continues to focus 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 inside the feed industry, and increased utilization of rendered fats and oils as feedstock for biodiesel, to name a few. Many United States suppliers who would like to survive inside an 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 designed for the needs of international transportation, yet the flexi bag is just 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 ideal logistics partner. As Red Adair, the famous oil well firefighter, said, “If you believe it’s costly to hire a professional for the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” In this spirit, following is a brief background in the flexitank industry and inquiries to guide shippers in distinguishing between expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized logistics providers.
From your 1980s for the early 2000s, most flexitanks were reusable rubber tanks that would have to 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 only-layer, recyclable flexitank was perfected by using a linear low density polyethylene, thus transforming the marketplace.
The primary 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, as much as 30 percent more product can be shipped per container using flexitanks when compared with totes, intermediate bulk containers, or drums.
The safety of product and personnel must not be overlooked. All things considered, what good is really a competitive freight rate if item is rejected or personnel are injured? The one-layer, single-use Oil Flexibag 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 in some cases entry by cleaning personnel, flexitanks really are a closed system from manufacturer to supplier to receiver. Additionally, there is absolutely no likelihood of moisture as a result of inadequate cleaning practices or condensation due to 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 accomplish an entire discharge. You will find a common misconception that flexitanks has to be “rolled like a toothpaste tube” to obtain all of the product out. Shippers tend to be surprised to learn this is a breach of safety and health protocol. The one-layer flexitank system was created to be operated externally – no climbing into or in addition to the container as with ISO tanks. Translucent material is another benefit of single-layer technology and allows load supervisors to find out the merchandise within the flexitank during loading and discharge, something that will not be possible with multilayer flexitanks as a result of an outer layer of polypropylene.
No less important than cost and safety factors simplicity. Full-service providers request the container to come pre-fit in the loading facility. For rendered fats and greases, a heater pad is positioned beneath the flexitank to promote efficient discharge at destination. What’s more, most single-layer flexitanks come with the same cam lock valve as ISO tanks. Precursors for the present day flexitank had a valve ahead, but newer designs have reoriented the valve to the foot of the flexitank. Bottom discharge procedure provides an improved 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 do business with globally integrated providers. A lot of companies that manufacture flexitanks tend not to get involved in the logistics process and the other way around. Moreover, many forwarders who purchase flexitanks do not have appropriate technical support with a global scale.
Second, shippers should know how to buy flexitank providers and separate expert and inexperienced, undercapitalized providers. The following questions should help shippers work through marketing gimmicks and locate a robust partner with a global network.
Just how many wholly-owned factories does the business have? If none, they may have difficulty guaranteeing quality without manipulating the method of production. Even joint ventures between logistics providers and flexitank manufacturing companies have proven insufficient to guarantee quality. The most expensive flexitank is actually a cheap flexitank.
How can the logistics provider guarantee flexitanks will not be sourced from different manufacturers? Quality standards vary among flexitank manufacturers. Shippers should expect exactly the same quality product whether or not they are exporting from South Dakota or South Korea. Further, global inventories take time and effort to control so positioning flexitanks to meet shipper demand ought to be handled by a dedicated fleet manager to make certain flexitanks are properly handled and meet uniform quality standards.
How many research and development staff are used by the organization? Scale matters, as does a collaborative design process, which yields a much better product and a lot more frequent innovation.
What technical presence and service is available, as well as at what cost? Technical support needs to be contained 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 that as needed throughout the supply chain.
The number of full-time technical personnel are employed by the company? Where are they located? Ask the provider to tell apart between dedicated technical personnel and sales or any other staff doubling as technicians.
The amount of facilities and offices does the organization have globally? Can they communicate within the local language of your customer? Ask the provider to distinguish between their own offices and third-party agents to understand how big their network and also the capital investment they have got made therein.
What automated key performance indicator reports are shipped 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 the like.
How are non-conformities measured? Whatever causes 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 must also confirm whether general average is covered under the standard policy.
Exactly what is the deductible in case of a loss? Some heating pad providers give a no-deductible insurance policy for an acceptable premium.
Once shippers locate a globally integrated logistics partner, go for door-to-port/door service. The best partner will consolidate tasks and present support at critical points from the supply chain. What this means is fewer vendors to control, less invoicing, reduced probability of miscommunication and delays, plus a transfer of liability far from their business. Who doesn’t want that?