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Tank Container
SO Tank
Tank Container
The Summary
stands for Carrier Own Container
When you book an FCL ocean freight shipment and request an ocean freight
container delivery for the load you "rent" the container from the ocean freight
carrier (direct international shipping company).
Container's "Rent" charges are included in the international ocean freight rate.
However, shipper should always remember that after container is released at
the destination and left carrier's Container Yard (CY) to be unloaded at the
consignee's facility, it must be returned to the ocean freight carrier's CY within a
certain time limit. Otherwise container detention charges may apply on the
ocean freight.
1-What is COC, SOC?
S stands for Shipper Own Container i.e. you as the shipper own the
container rather than using one of the carrier company's containers_COC
(shipping line own container)
S. means that you buy a container for the international ocean
freight shipment at origin. Then the sea freight container is your property
and you are not obligated to its return. After it is emptied you may sell it,
use for storage, destroy it etc.
S can be GP container, SO tank, Reefer container, Open the
project transport, liquid transport.
S is also used for recycled usage, storage purpose.But it is often
cheaper to purchase a container at the destination & save the extra
handling costs of a shipper's owned container.
1-What is SOC, COC.
f your destination facility is far away from the international ocean freight
carrier's CY, then you should pay attention to possible charges on container
For example, upon your cargo release at the destination seaport (CY)
your sea freight container must continue to travel by rail/road
thousands mile away from the CY in bond or not. Then the empty sea
freight container must be returned back to the ocean carrier's CY.
n this situation, in order to avoid sea freight container detention
charges and eliminate expenses related to the container return, the
only option is using S.O.C. - Shipper Owned Containers, i.e. an "One
Way" sea freight container.
Some NVOCCs offers this service in accordance with the maritime
container line. They provide service to any customer buying ocean
containers pass, provide inspection of these containers for further ocean
2-Why SOC?
This type of maritime and multimodal transport in their own SOC container has
the following advantages:
Freight costs for individual routes are cheaper than shipping via linear
The Customer shall be exempt from such payments as detention and
demurrage - a penalty for excess use of containers, or more simply put a
return of the container to the port in the said time line;
The cost of further transportation of cargo in its own maritime containers
by rail will be calculated on way as there is no need to return the container
to the port;
The client is free to choose further transportation of container, it can be
either by rail or road transport;
The container becomes the property of the client and further can be sold
or used for various purposes, such as a warehouse or office in the parking
2-Why SOC.
ostly SOC must comply with SO standard
Shipping lines may need a valid Container Safety Convention ("CSC) plate
presented clearly on the SOC door, with an expiry date at least 3 months later than
the estimated load date of the SOC
Empty COC reposition need not B/L issue while Empty SOC need it
NVOCCs or Shipper who own container need to sign an LO to ocean carrier to be
harmless from any and all consequences that may arise as a result of accepting
Ocean carrier will shown on the B/L as "Shippers load stow and count in shippers
own container". The Return Location & the Contacting Party must be obtained from
Shipper and must be stipulated on the Bill of Lading.
Always check with Ocean Carrier for SOP in handling SOC to make sure no
unaware extra charge incurs at destination.
When shipping shipper owned container you should always consider container
unloading the chassis at destination. You should arrange crane or load lifter for
that. Also Customs are especially demanding and strict with the shipper's own
containers, do not overload the container and properly submit the customs
3- SOC Handling Principles
ifference between so Tank container is useability with standart containers as tank
container. t is a bag that fits to a standard 20ft container converting it to carry 20
tonne of non-haz liquids.
Especially useable for Vegetable Oils, Fruit Juices and Non-hazardous liquid
chemicals. Between 10.000 liters to 24.000 liters capacity.
t can be placed into a 20' dry container , in order to fill the tank, it has to be partielly
unfolded and then it needs to be secured with steel or wooded barrier called bulk-
ade from ultra high tensile, multi-ply ethylene co-polymers , it is an ideal product to
store and transport all kind of non-hazardous liquids and chemicals by sea, railway
and road. These are disposable equipments with different kind and capacities
Established lower temperature is -25 C and the highest temperature is 70 C
1-Tank Container
Tank Container
A tank container is a type of freight container, which includes two basic elements,
the tank or tanks, and the framework
Tank containers are used primarily for the international transportation of goods
including gases, liquids and pressurized dry bulk goods, as well as some foodstuffs.
They are specifically designed to allow the carriage of these goods by one or more
modes of transport, e.g. road, rail, sea or inland waterway, even by air, without
intermediate reloading.
The framework provides the structural support for the tank and enables the tank
container to be handled (usually lifted), stacked, secured and transported as a
whole unit at locations such as port, rail and freight forwarding terminals, and users'
sites. The tank(s) can be filled and emptied without removal from the framework.
Where tank containers are constructed to such standards, no parts of the container,
its associate fittings and/or equipment should project beyond the specified overall
external dimensions. The implication being that such equipment may become
damaged or fouled in the handling, stacking and transportation of containers, and
threaten the integrity of the container. Standards do give design criteria for access
ladders and walkways, but they do not cover equipment such as handrails.
1-Tank Container
Tank containers are cylindrical tanks which are placed in a frame and are
used to transport liquids or gases in bulk. Tank containers may differ
depending on their capacity, size, the materials used, special equipment
and other characteristics.
any tank containers used in international carriage will conform to the
requirements of the nternational Convention for Safe Containers (CSC);
this Convention is implemented in Great Britain by the Freight Containers
(Safety Convention) Regulations 1984. The Convention sets structural
requirements to ensure safety in the handling, stacking and transporting of
containers in the course of normal operation. National and international
standards 1, 2 define the standard sized container types and rigid
dimensional tolerances, which operated in road, rail, and sea transport
modes. Tank containers manufactured to these international standards are
often termed 'SO tanks'.
For more information, please refer to
1-Tank Container...
Tank containers have been in existence almost as long as the dry freight
containers but represent a more specialized niche of the nter-modal
transportation industry. Tank containers represent just 1% of the world's
container fleet by number but 10 by value because they are expensive to
manufacture relative to dry freigh containers.
Containerisation nternational estimates that there were 211,500 O 1
tank containers in existence at the end of 2006 and that this fleet size is
growing at approximately 5% per annum.
t is estimated that 15,000 new tanks are produced per year. China
nternational arine Containers ("CC) which is the world's largest
producer of all types of containers, manufactures close to half of all new
containers after only four years in the business. Welfit Oddy of South
Africa produces 5,000 tanks per annum and the remainder are produced
in China and Europe in lower quantities.
2-Tank Container arket
Tank containers are primarily operated by combined transport firms and
specialised tank logistic firms while major shipping lines own very few tanks.
Leading tank operators include firms such as Bulkhaul, VOGT Tanktainer,
Rinnen Group, Taby Schiffahrts-und Speditions, Bertschi, United Transport
Tanktainers and H&S Foodtrans. Tank lessors such as Exsif and Eurotainer
are also significant purchasers of tank containers.
Tank operators are expanding their operations beyond their core markets in
Europe and the USA into developing economies like China and ndia where
both inter-modalism and the chemical industries are growing strongly. They
are also promoting the environmental and cost advantages of tank containers
over other liquid transport alternatives such as drums, BCs and tankers.
2-Tank Container arket.
SO Tank
SO TANK CONTANER was developed for the carriage of all types of liquids,
ranging from, but not limited to, portable (food grade) liquids, non hazardous,
and hazardous liquids, including corrosives, flammables, toxics, and
explosives. The Tank Container eliminates the risks in transferring liquids from
one vessel to another, and provides for an extremely safe, secure, cost
effective and viable mode of transportation.
Once the Tank Container has discharged, it is taken to a recognized cleaning
station, cleaned thoroughly for that product, and then made ready for it's next
load. Although tank containers have a fairly uniform external appearance, the
construction materials, linings, and fittings vary. Tanks are classified according
to the specification of the tank shell and fittings. t is this classification which
determines what type of product maybe carried. The function of the frame is to
support and protect the tank as well as to facilitate the stowage, securement
and handling by standard SO container equipment. When properly handled,
the frame is designed to cope with the stresses of a fully loaded tank
1-About SO Tank
SO tank containers is a tank containers constructed according to the 20 foot
SO standard. They have a capacity ranging from 15,000 to 27,000 litres. Since
the external dimensions are exactly the same as box containers for dry freight,
standard SO tank containers can easily be stacked and transported on
container ships. For this reason, standard SO tank containers are used mainly
for deep sea transport. n the light of the characteristics described above,
standard SO tank containers are fully standardized products. Buyers of
standard SO tank containers are mainly lease companies7 and logistic
operators Standard SO tank containers are mainly used for the transportation of
general liquid freight.
The parties are of the opinion that general liquid freight can be transported not
only in standard SO tank containers, but also in three alternative types of
transportation which, as in the case of standard SO tank containers, fit within
the standard dimensions of box containers for dry freight. These three types of
transport are:
i) flexi-bags or flexi-tanks,
(ii) ntermediate Bulk Containers (hereinafter "BCs),10 and
(iii) steel or plastic drums. The parties therefore argue that standard SO tank
containers do not constitute a separate product market, but are part of a larger
product market which may be defined as a market for new modes of transporting
general liquid freight for marine use.
1-About SO Tank
Length: 10ft (2.991m), 20ft (6.058m), 30ft (9.125m) and 40ft (12.192m).
Under SO 668 it would be possible to include a 45ft (17.192m) long unit to
the list. However in the international tank industry approximately 95 % of all
tanks built are 20ft long.
Width: 8ft (2.438m) wide
Height: Generally 8ft (2.438m) and 8ft 6in (2.591m). There are also "half
high tanks that are typically 4ft (1.219m) and 4ft 3in (1.296m) tall
Volume: 9,000 to 27,000 litres.
Stacking: The combined mass of the superimposed load shall not exceed
the allowable stack weight shown on the Safety Approval Plate, generally
192,000 kg.
Transport: Can be carried on all modes of transport and deep and short sea
routes within cells or on deck
2-SO Tank Specification
3-SO Tank Components
The special tank containers comprise two main categories of containers, namely :
(i) oversize tank containers, which cannot be transported on a tank container ship and
are usually used for transportation within Europe by road, rail, inland shipping or for
short sea crossings and
(ii) specialized tank containers with special characteristics, designed especially for the
transportation of liquids which require special treatment during transportation.
there are hardly any substitutes for special tank containers. n addition, the
production of special tank containers requires more know-how than the production
of standard SO tank containers. For this reason, it is easier for new players to
produce standard SO tank containers than to produce special tank containers and
it is more difficult to switch from the production of standard SO tank containers to
the production of special tank containers than vice versa.
Special tank containers are more expensive than standard SO tank containers
because a special tank container has to meet the customer's specific
requirements. As a result, it is not worthwhile using a special tank container for
goods which can also be transported in a standard SO tank container.
The market investigation further confirmed that standard SO tank containers and
special tank containers cannot be substituted.
4-Special Tank Container vs SO Tank
Special tank containers are always tailor-made, that is manufactured to order and
always necessary to transport very sensitive liquid freight.
On the basis of its market investigation, the European Commission has
concluded that standard SO tank containers and special tank containers are
separate product markets for the following reasons:
special tank containers not only have additional, but also totally different
characteristics compared to standard SO tank containers;
special tank containers are significantly more expensive than standard SO tank
containers; due to the significant price difference, special tank containers are only
purchased for goods for which they are developed, although in principle they can also
be used for the transportation of other goods; and
special tank containers are tailor-made so that they meet the customer's specific
requirements. For this reason they are produced in small quantities.
On the basis of its market investigation in the first phase, the European
Commission concludes that four separate markets can be distinguished for
special tank containers, namely the markets for
(i) oversized (swap) tank containers,
(ii) gas tank containers,
(iii) cryogenic tank containers and
(iv) specialized SO tank containers.
4-Special Tank Container vs SO Tank.
BC_ntermediate bulk containers (Tote Tank) are rigid or flexible portable
packagings, other than packagings specified in Chapter 6.1 or 6.3 and large
packagings specified in Chapter 6.6, that:
(a) have a capacity of:
(i) not more than 3.0 m3 (3,000 litres) for solids and liquids of packing groups
and ;
(ii) not more than 1.5 m3 for solids of packing group when packed in flexible,
rigid plastics, composite, fibreboard and wooden BCs;
(iii) not more than 3.0 m3 for solids of packing group when packed in metal
(iv) not more than 3.0 m3 for radioactive material of Class 7;
(b) are designed for mechanical handling;
(c) are resistant to the stresses produced in handling and transport, as
determined by tests.
5-Others Concepts
Portable Tank: a multimodal tank having a capacity of more than 450l used for
the transport of substances of classes 3 to 9. The portable tank includes a shell
fitted with service equipment and structural equipment necessary for the
transport of dangerous substances. The portable tank shall be capable of being
filled and discharged without the removal of its structural equipment. Road tank
vehicles, rail tank-wagons, non-metallic tanks and intermediate bulk containers
(BCs) are not considered to fall within the definition for portable tanks.
UN portable tank means a inter-modal tank having a capacity of more than 450
liters (118.9 gallons). t includes a shell fitted with service equipment and
structural equipment, including stabilizing members external to the shell and
skids, mountings or accessories to facilitate mechanical handling. A UN portable
tank must be capable of being filled and discharged without the removal of its
structural equipment and must be capable of being lifted when full. Cargo tanks,
rail tank car tanks, non-metallic tanks, non-specification tanks, bulk bins, and
BCs and packagings made to cylinder specifications are not UN portable tanks.
SO tank is a type of UN Portable Tank.
Source: ( ).
5-Other Concepts.
UN Portable Tank: a tank designed and approved for the carriage of
dangerous goods (as defined by UN dangerous goods list) including UN Types
T1 to T50 (O1, O2 and O5).( )
Tank for chemical: UN Portable tank (T11) is designed to meet the
requirements of businesses that need to transport or store liquid chemicals.
EGCs: ultiple Element Gas Containers (EGCs) is a tank container for
gases of Class 2 that are either compressed, liquefied or refrigerated. This is a
ultimodal assemblies of cylinders, tubes and bundles of cylinders which are
interconnected by a manifold and which are assembled within a framework.
The EGC includes service equipment and structural equipment necessary for
the transport of gases. EGCs may be equipped with PRs.
Tank for corrosive chemicals : a special tanks provides a range of tanks lined
with rubber, baked phenolic or flouro-polymer linings for the special chemicals
that are not compatible with stainless steel such as fluids with high chloride
content and certain acids
5-Other Concepts.
FOSFA/KOSHER Tank: ncreasingly, oils and fats are being transported in tank
containers. FOSFA Contract 90A for Refined Edible Oils and Fats elivered
Terms by Tank Cars (Road and Rail) and SO Tank Containers, issued jointly
with NOFOTA, GROFOR and UCOGRAS, facilitates such trade. Line 15 of the
contract reads: "When deliveries are to SO tank containers, these containers
shall comply with the FOSFA nternational Qualifications and Operational
Procedures for SO Tank Containers carrying Animal, arine and Vegetable Oils
and Fats". ( )
Tanks for Foodstuffs: SO tank for the transportation of food-grade cargo
intended for human consumption. As such, tank containers are supplied with
certificates of cleanliness and a record of the previous cargo carried.
The stainless-steel tanks and valves are designed for ease of cleaning and
sterilization and may be secured for the safe and hygienic transport of food products.
Some special tanks for special applications including units dedicated to beer, three-
compartment tanks for transporting different products in a single tank, and super-
insulated tanks to maintain chilled and heated temperatures.
5-Other Concepts.
The carriage of oils and fats as a subject is a very complex matter and to capture the evolved
practices and contractual obligations now demanded by all international markets, the Federation
publishes its own document referred to as the Carriage of Oils and Fats. This is a set of
protocols and contract referred documents contained in a loose-leaf manual. These documents
include the FOSFA Qualifications and Operational Procedures for Ships Engaged in the
Carriage of Oils and Fats in Bulk for Edible and Oleo-Chemical Use, Previous Cargo lists and
Certificates linked to carriage conditions, in three sections:
a/-Contract Referred ocuments*
Qualifications and Operational Procedures
List of Banned mmediate Previous Cargoes
List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes
b/-SO Tank Containers*
Qualifications and Operational Procedures
Owner/Operator's Statement of Compliance, Suitability and Cleanliness
c/-Prescribed Report Forms*
Combined aster's Certificate
Certificate of Compliance, Suitability and Cleanliness of Ship's Tank
Parties involved in trading oils and fats in bulk under FOSFA CF terms will note the reference in
contracts and optional clauses to these various documents. Their purpose is to ensure the safe
handling and preservation of the integrity of the cargo to which the contract relates, and avoid
contamination incidents, which while problematic in the 1980s, has been predominantly
eradicated. To subscribe to this publication, complete the Order Form and return it to the
Federation's offices. The documents are available to members via the website
Carriage of Oil & Fats
Offshore Tank Container is designed for the carriage of hazardous and non-
hazardous liquid cargo mounted in carbon steel frame. Specially designed for
repeated use in the transport to, from or between fixed and/or floating offshore
installations and ships. Tested to withstand the dynamic lifting and impact forces
that may occur during handling in open seas in adverse weather and sea
Capacities Available
5500 litres to 6500 litres in ten-foot frame
7500 litres to 8500 litres in ten-foot frame
Gas Tank: SO tank container type UN T50(O5)for transportation of
liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) and ammonia. Technical characteristics:
1. Container type UN T50
2. Size in acc. To SO 1CC
3. Nominal capacity, L 25000
4. aximal gross mass, KG 24000
5. Tare mass, KG 8350
6. AWP, bar 22
7. Test pressure, bar 30
8. Temperature range, C -40.. +50
5-Other Concepts.
Flexitank: ifference between so Tank container is useability with standart
containers as tank container. t is a bag that fits to a standard 20ft container
Flexitank is a collapsible bulk liquid container made from polyethylene
materials. With capacities from 16000 to 24000 liters, depending on the Specific
Gravity of the liquid, this modern vehicle of international bulk transportation
converts a Standard 20 ft dry container into a cost effective bulk liquid container
capable of carrying up to 21.5 tones of non-hazardous product.
Especially useable for Vegetable Oils, Fruit Juices and Non-hazardous liquid
chemicals. Between 10.000 liters to 24.000 liters capacity.
t can be placed into a 20' dry container , in order to fill the tank, it has to be partielly
unfolded and then it needs to be secured with steel or wooded barrier called bulk-
ade from ultra high tensile, multi-ply ethylene co-polymers , it is an ideal product to
store and transport all kind of non-hazardous liquids and chemicals by sea, railway
and road. These are disposable equipments with different kind and capacities
Established lower temperature is -25 C and the highest temperature is 70 C
Flexi Tank is the best solution for the liquid products transportation.And t can save up
40% transportation cost for you comparing with RU, BARREL, SO TANK.
So it would be the best substitute to the drum and barrel.
5-Other Concepts.
5-Other Concepts.
Tank containers have few moving parts
The vast majority are manufactured from stainless steel which has a high corrosion
All the valve must be approved by the appropriate authorities.
Over the last 25 years instances of leakage from tank containers in transit have been
very rare
Provided the cargo is discharged correctly the residual of cargo in the tank is
approximately 0.04% which reduces the disposal of the product as "waste when the
tank is cleaned
The tanks are fully intermodal and can be used on railroads to reduce the
environmental impact of road transportation
Tank containers are a versatile very long life items of equipment which can be loaded
with a variety of cargoes thereby reducing the need for empty positioning.
6- SO Tank Benefits
They offer safety with minimal chance of leakage if the tank container is physically
damaged. rums in a damaged dry freight Container are more likely to leak
Filling and ischarge in comparison to multiple fill/discharge operation required for
the equivalent drum volume.
Single load and discharge for up to 26,000 litres of product in one Tank Container
Greater volume per container slot reducing container movements
3-Reduction in Costs
Standard SO 20 ft Tank containers have capacities up to 26,000 Litres
26,000 Litre Tanks can transport the equivalent of 123 drums 205 Litres.
t would take approximately 1.6 standard 20ft SO dry boxes to transport 123 drums
The time and manpower to load and discharge tank containers is less than the
equivalent volume in drums
Cleaning costs are reduced
Cargo residual is less therefore disposal costs reduced when cleaning
6- SO Tank Benefits.
6- SO Tank Benefits.
6- SO Tank Benefits.
ain advantage of the tank containers is that they can be used intermodal.
Connected with its capacity between 15 to 25 m3 there is worldwide the
infrastructure to handle and to
transport these units.
For smaller transport volumes middle-sized tanks are offered by some tank container
manufacturers and
also units of about 1m3 so called "BCs, are still in operation.
And like 1000 years barrels are used to transport small volumes.
The main disadvantage of barrels and also BCs is that they are presently not really
intermodal and that connected with the smaller capacity the involved manpower for
changing transported goods and as they are difficult to clean or it is expensive to
clean them, the costs per transported liter or cubic meter are compared with tank
containers higher, also bearing in mind that the production cost of barrels and BCs
are much lower.
Another problem is one way use of barrels becomes more and more difficult as if
chemicals are transported the barrel cannot be disposed on like in earlier times
without any cleaning.
Also, the tank container has proven over the last 25 years that it is very very safe.
Only very few accidents where product went out of the tank containers were
mentioned over the last years. The stainless steel tank withstands more impact and
damages than aluminium tanks, BCs or barrels.
7-Tank Container>BCs>Barrels
Ease of use
Reduced capital investment
Reduced labor and product handling costs
Ship larger volumes
Elimination of product loss from bags/bins
Safer/more stable than large bags in containers
Reduced loading/unloading time
Re-use no need to purchase a bag every time
Eco-Friendly Footprint
Potential to eliminate re-pasteurization
7-Tank Container>BCs>Barrels.
Tank Container Operator
%ank ontainer perator in the SuppIy hain
Supply Chain
Long-distance, international transportation of liquid such as chemicals,
gas. is conducted using one of five modes: pipeline, bulk tankers, parcel
tankers, tank containers, or drums.
Pipeline and bulk tankers are used primarily in the petrochemical industry for
the transport of large quantities of a single product.
Parcel tankers are smaller vessels with up to 42 tank compartments and are
used to simultaneously transport multiple cargoes.
Tank containers, also referred to as SO tanks, inter-modal tanks, or O
portable tanks, are designed for inter-modal transportation by road, rail, and
1- ntroduction
Tank containers have many advantages for the international transport of
liquid :
They are environment-friendly, since they are less prone to spillage during
filling and unloading, as well as leakage during transportation.
They permit a higher payload when compared to drums stowed in dry
containers (43% more volume).
They can be handled mechanically, which results in cost savings, but also
ensures safety when handling hazardous commodities.
They provide secure door-to-door multi-modal transportation (by road, rail, sea
or inland waterways), and do not require specialized port-side infrastructure.
They are safe and durable, with a design life of 20-30 years.
They can be cleaned and placed into alternate commodity service with
minimum downtime.
They can be used as temporary storage for customers with limited space or
high-cost permanent storage.
1- ntroduction.
Tank Container Services Flow
tank container operator manages a fleet of tanks to transport liquid cargo for
a variety of customers between essentially any two points in the world. Typically,
60% to 70% of the fleet is owned by the operator; the remaining tanks are
leased, usually for periods of 5 to 10 years. To serve a standard customer order,
a tank container operator would provide a tank (or multiple tanks) at the
customer's origin plant and arrange transportation for the tank across multiple
modes to the destination plant. Transportation will usually include a truck leg at
origin and destination and a steamship leg between a port near the origin to
another port close to the destination. t may also include rail or barge legs at
each end. Operators use depots for temporary storage, cleaning, and repair of
empty containers.
The management problems faced by tank container operators specifically, the
difficult task of cost-effectively managing a fleet of tank containers, given
imbalanced global trade flows. Given the high cost of tanks, high loaded
container utilization is very important in this industry.
2- The Concept.
%he typicaI tank service offering provided by a tank operator to a shipper
customer is a one-way trip. To obtain service, customers first place a request for
a price quote for a given origin-destination pair, and then subsequently make a
booking or multiple bookings under the quote. We will call these steps the
6uotation and booking processes respectively. With the exception of certain
ancillary charges, the tank container operator charges the customer a fixed price
for transportation, and pays the transportation service providers directly out of this
fee. Therefore, it is in the operator's interest to minimize the transportation costs
for most shipments. There must be a level of "reasonableness in transit times,
and some customers may be willing to pay a premium for faster service however.
Tank container operators do not typically own or manage any of the underlying
transportation services used to move a container from origin to destination.
nstead, they enter into contracts for transportation service with a number of
providers. Tank container operators maintain contracts with trucking companies,
railroads, and port drayage companies for inland transportation, and with
container steamship lines and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs)
for port-to-port ocean transportation. Each transport service contract specifies
transport legs that are available to the operator, and their costs. Operators
combine these legs into itineraries to provide origin-to-destination service for
3- The Services
Tank Container Cleaning is one of the most important and dangerous processes
in the transportation chain. The availability of a suitable cleaning station must be
taken in to account before a cargo is accepted for transportation. t has to be
appreciated that not all cargoes will be able to be processed by an individual
cleaning station.
The cleaning station must be equipped with all the required health and safety
equipment and carry out rigorous safety procedures including atmosphere
monitoring before allowing personnel to enter a tank.
Tanks should be dried immediately after cleaning. t is highly probable that the
final rinse water will be chlorinated which will corrode stainless steel. Failure to
clean correctly and immediately after discharge can result in the next cargo being
contaminated with the former and or corrosion affecting the pressure vessel.
3- The Services.
%o deveIop price quotes for customers, container operators currently rely on a
port-to-port methodology for developing and pricing itineraries. n this process, the
operator associates both the origin and destination customer locations with an
appropriate export port and import port. Then, using a database of available ocean
carrier contracts and the scheduled sailings for each carrier, at most two or three
potential ocean carrier services between these ports are selected. Each such
service forms the basis for an itinerary. The price of each itinerary is then
determined by adding an inland transportation cost (if necessary), a profit
component, and possibly an overhead cost allocation (for example, to account for
asset repositioning costs) to the ocean service cost. The itinerary transit time is
computed by adding inland transport times if necessary and schedule delays to
the transit time of the scheduled ocean service. These identified itineraries now
likely provide different combinations of price and transit time. Typically, the low-
price itinerary is first presented to the customer, and if the transit time is
unacceptable a higher-price shorter-duration option is presented. Once the
customer selects an itinerary, the quote is formalized.
4-The Price Quotes
Price quotes to customers are usually valid anywhere from 30 to 90 days (and
sometimes longer), and one or many bookings may be made over the duration
of the quote. When booking, the customer specifies the number and type of
tank containers needed, and service time windows at the origin and destination.
inimally, the time window information will include the earliest time containers
may be loaded at the origin, and the latest time containers should be delivered
to the destination. Given these requirements, the tank operator must verify that
the quoted itinerary is feasible. Since ocean sailings are scheduled and service
is not provided each day, the sailing used to generate the quote may or may
not allow a feasible routing satisfying the time windows. The operator must also
verify that the quoted sailings have available space. f all components of the
quoted service offering are not available, the operator must determine an
alternative best itinerary that meets customer requirements.
4-The Price Quotes.
mpty repositioning is a critical component of tank container management.
Since fleet operators provide global service and loaded flow patterns are not
balanced geographically, some regions tend to be net sources of empty tanks
and others net sinks. Additionally, loaded flow demands exhibit seasonal
patterns. Operators correct geographic and temporal imbalances in container
supply and demand by repositioning empty containers between depots.
Some tank container operators have recently begun using decision support
tools based on mathematical programming for dynamic operational planning of
reposition moves. One method that we are aware of determines weekly
repositioning moves using a deterministic multi-commodity network flow model
to minimize empty move cost given forecasts of loaded arrivals and departures
in each port area. Such models typically use a planning horizon of several
months discretized into weeks, and are solved each week with only the first
week's decisions implemented in the standard rolling-horizon approach.
5-The Empty Repositioning
Empty container repositioning has received a fair amount of research attention
since it is an integral part of many freight transportation problems (see, e.g.,
Crainic et al., 1993; Shen and Khoong, 1995; Cheung and Chen, 1998; Choong
et al., 2002). Repositioning decisions have also been treated directly in large-
scale tactical planning models. Recent work by Bourbeau et al. (2000), for
example, develops parallel solution techniques for large-scale static container
network design problems that explicitly consider repositioning decisions.
any opportunities exist to provide improved operational decision support
technology to tank container operators. However, the most significant
opportunity lies in integrating container booking and routing decisions with
repositioning decisions. When a tank container is booked, an appropriate empty
is assigned to the load, moved from its depot to the customer, loaded and
transported via multiple modes to the destination meeting customer
requirements, moved back to a depot for cleaning, and then stored or
repositioned for future use. An operator making these decisions centrally for a
global system via an integrated management model may indeed be able to
reduce costs and improve equipment utilization. Such an integrated approach
would differ substantially from current practice. Although optimization models
are used for repositioning, the inputs to current models are forecasts of weekly
loaded flow imbalances at depots; thus, container routings that may improve
flow balance without repositioning are ignored.
5-The Empty Repositioning
The Summary
A tank container has a number of added benefits for a carrier versus a Line's
owned dry freight unit:
No inland cost or absorption
No empty repositioning
No inventory cost
&R (aintaining & Repairing) and storage
Equipment cost, leased or capital asset
Port-port moves simplify booking ,reduce overheads
mpact on fleet management overhead costs
No USA chassis requirements
Tank operators move units on a round trip basis
Either empty and full return or full return via another trade lane
Tank containers front or head haul are opposite to shipping lines
Yes.tanks are generally heavy
20% of all moves are empty units
The carbon footprint of a tank container is vastly smaller than shipping drums
60% of cargoes moved are non hazardous chemicals, FOSFA,Class 9 or food
Tank containers are highly regulated types of packaging
Clear cargo identification, no mixed cargoes
1-The Benefits
1964: First design ideas for tank containers (skid tanks)
1966: First builds
1967: SO tank designed
1968: Trafpak orders first series of SO tank containers
esign and build starts to spread across Europe
Early commercial production mainly in reland and France
Rest of Europe starts to follow
When the first tank container was presented at the late 60ies, nobody really
knew whether they would be accepted by the market. Today the tank container
has an important role for the safe and economic transport of liquids and gases.
Still a lot of tank containers are built in Europe and a lot of improvements and
specials are still designed there.
Tremendous growth of tank containerization will take place on the Far East
markets, probably also in East Europe and in some of the CS states. As these
countries have also a tradition in steel building there might appear new
companies from the states offering tank containers.
n the future the tank containers will have an important role in the transport of
liquids, gases and dry bulk worldwide.
2-The history and Future
Limited number of Lines operate
their own tanks
Lines stopped offering this
specialised equipment in the
Tank containers are provided to
the foodstuff chemical and gas
industries by specialized
A number of container lines
have either refused to accept
tank containers or impose
severe restrictions, whilst others
welcome tank container
3-The Opportunity
1-What is the difference between a tank, tank container, SOtank, intermodal tank,
portable tank and demountable tank?
Tank containers are commonly referred to as tanks, SOtanks or tank
containers. The G regulations refer to portable tanks and the AR to
demountable tanks. Users should refer to the regulations for specific
requirements. ntermodal tanks are containers that comply with AR
regulations, but are longer than SO dimensions.
2-What is a frame tank and what is a beam tank?
"Frame" and "beam" are descriptions of the differing frame designs. Both are
SO configuration frames and used in an identical manner. The frame tank is
fitted with top and bottom side rails, while the beam tank is free of these and
thus a lighter weight.
3-What is a swap body tank container?
Swap tanks have a larger capacity and dimension than the standard 20ft
SOtank, usually 7.15m or 7.82m in length. They are mostly used in Europe
on road and rail, and cannot be transported by container vessel.
4-Can completely fill the tank container?
A space (ullage) must be left to allow for expansion of the cargo
5-What is the capacity of a tank container?
Tank containers commonly range in capacity from 12,000 litres up to 26,000
litres. Space (ullage) is required to allow for cargo expansion and 95% to 98%
is the common maximum load. A minimum fill level (usually 80%) is required
to reduce instability due to surge minimum. Regulations detail the minimum
and maximum fill according to the cargo.
6-Why are there different capacities of tank container?
Capacity must suit the weight of the cargo and the quantity required to be
7-Can use tank containers for storage applications?
Tank containers are suitable for storage applications and have the added
benefit of being suitable for stacking. Regulations concerning containment
apply in certain regions.
8-Where can find information regarding dangerous goods regulations?
The various government authorities publish the regulations and distribute
them via their own and government booksellers. any of the regulations are
also accessible via their website.Where can find cleaning and repair
HCB (Hazardous Cargo Bulletin) publishes a guide containing contact details
of cleaning and repair companies. GE SeaCo can also provide guidance.
9-Where do obtain a cleaning certificate?
After a tank is cleaned, an inspection is carried out by the cleaning contractor
and the tank is issued with a cleaning receipt/wash note. An independent
surveyor may be appointed to provide a cleaning certificate.
10-What is a periodic test?
Tank container regulations require that the tank is tested at 5-year intervals
and undergo an additional intermediate test at 2.5 years.
11-Where is the tank tested?
Tanks are supplied with valid test certificates. f a re-test is needed during the
course of the lease, this can be done at a network of worldwide depots. t is a
standard service offered by depots and can be arranged to be completed
within a day.
12-Who is responsible for tank testing?
You will be responsible for ensuring that tank containers are periodically
tested and accord with the regulations in the region of use. GE SeaCo is able
to assist with the arrangements.
13-When do have to test a tank?
Tanks should be tested within 90 days of the expiry date of the valid test
14-s it necessary to test tanks used for static storage?
The regulations that commonly apply to tank containers concern
transportation. Tanks used for static storage should comply with local
regulations in the place of use. GE SeaCo can provide individual advice.
15-o need insurance?
As a user you are required to be insured against all liabilities. nsurance
might be provided by your existing insurer but, if not, there are a number
of insurers specialising in tank containers. GE SeaCo can provide