Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flexitank Container Standard Vital for Shipping Bulk Liquid Freight

Trans Ocean the First to Comply with Industry Code of Practice
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE - Trans Ocean, the bulk liquid freight division of specialist logistics operators Hillebrand, has become the first company to fully comply with the Container Owners Association (COA) recommended Code of Practice for flexitanks. The Code is administered by a Management Group which includes two container shipping lines (Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd), a technical expert, Peter Hartwig from the Technical University of Dresden plus two flexitank companies, Braid Logistics and TransOcean itself.

The Code of Practice consists of five parts including; material testing, container selection, container labelling, incident management and training. Until now, significant emphasis amongst shipping lines and flexitank operators has been placed on the rail test (Video HERE) yet, as the direction of the code now moves towards a Publicly Available Specification (PAS), it is essential that companies demonstrate, through independent audits, that they also comply with the other sections.

Last month, following a process of review, implementation and audit, Trans Ocean became the very first flexitank operator in the industry to submit all documents to the COA, including independent audit reports where required causing spokesman Brendan McKenna, a Hillebrand Group Board Member, to comment:

“This is a significant milestone, and the path leading to this achievement has been both interesting and challenging. We have made significant investments in equipment, and have amended certain of our working practices in order to comply. It has encouraged us to not only take a critical look at the way we do things, but also to create written procedures that standardise our design, manufacturing and quality process across our global engineering and manufacturing footprint leading to tangible benefits for our customers worldwide.

“At Trans Ocean, we always strive to be one step ahead, we aim to provide the safest, most reliable and most advanced flexitank systems on the market. Our on-going commitment to meet and exceed the COA Code of Practice criteria is testament to this and we are proud to announce that we are the first flexitank company to comply with all 5 parts of the Code of Practice in its entirety.”

Flexitanks contribute huge value to the market especially when manufactured and operated in a safe and professional manner. The COA Recommended Flexitank Code of Practice is a critical and important step toward creating an international, formal and industry-wide standard, which will benefit customers, shippers and suppliers through quality assurances and added peace of mind when shipping in bulk.