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New developments in bulk logistics


Trans Ocean flexitanks are designed to transform a standard 20’ ISO container into a non hazardous bulk liquid transport system, which is specifically for one-trip use. The flexitank products are manufactured by Trans Ocean in China, South Africa and Malaysia. The single layer flexitank is used for shipping industrial, food and synthetic products.

Product details

The main components to the flexitank system consist of:

  • Two piece steel bulkhead, it is a protective and retaining wall for the flexitank, which is secured independently in front of the flexitank.
  • The valve is a bottom discharge, which is the opening where the liquid is pumped in or out of the flexitank.
  • Flexitank, consists of a single layer, linear low density polyethylene, and can hold up to capacities of 24,000 litres (6,340 US gallons, if the specific gravity is <1).
  • The container is lined following the container selection and fitting criteria. The purpose is to protect the outer surface of the flexitank from abrasions and marks.
  • Standard 20’ container, generally supplied by the container shipping line.

Equipment requirements to load and discharge

  • 1 (positive displacement type recommended) pump to transfer the product from the storage facility to the flexitank. The maximum load flow rate is approximately 1000 litres per minute (260 USG minute).
  • Suction hose – to span from the storage container to the pump
  • Transfer hose – to span from pump to flexitank
  • 1 set of camlock adapters
  • Support straps for hose. Or stand to support the hose.

Trans Ocean offer technical advice regarding loading and discharging of their flexitank products, and it is recommended to seek advice before proceeding because every load site can vary.

The RhinoBulk flexitank is available from 10,000 litres to a maximum of 24,000 litres. The safe fill amount is between + / - 500 litres (132 USG) of nominal rate capacity. Generally this can represent more than double the capacity of pre-packaged cargo and has proven economical advantages.

The Trans Ocean flexitank is made from opaque material, which allows constant monitoring of the product during the load and discharge. And the 1mm thick, single layer polyethylene material has considerable yield strength, so during times of transit the RhinoBulk flexitank can undergo considerable stress before any signs of deformation occur.

Compared to other designs of flexitank (multi-layer flexitanks), the single layer RhinoBulk has proven to minimise product wastage and reduce residue left after discharge. Other methods of transport generally require more resources to discharge the container fully and return the equipment back to the equipment owner or depot. However, Trans Ocean flexitank products are designed for one-trip use and the tank materials are recyclable, diminishing the need for inventory management and reducing environmental impact.

Trans Ocean is compliant with the Containers Owners Association – Recommended code of practice for flexitanks.

Trans Ocean pioneered an effort with the COA to address the industry-wide situation. As a result Trans Ocean the COA and other interested parties have dedicated the last four years to the development and implementation of a more formal approval process embodied with the COA Code of Practice.

Brendan McKenna, JF Hillebrand Board Member and head of Engineering and Manufacturing at Trans Ocean commented as follows: “Four years ago this looked like a very tough hill to climb and to be at a place where we are today is truly an amazing achievement and testament to the value the flexitank can bring to the market when manufactured and operated in a safe and professional manner. I also believe this is only the first step in a process which will eventually lead the industry to full ISO certification for flexitanks. This has to be our long term goal”.

The Trans Ocean container on the impact test track

Part 2 of the code, which is central to the safe operation of the flexitanks focuses on rail and material testing. Consequently, Trans Ocean put a significant amount of effort and resource into preparing for and passing the stringent testing procedures, including significant investment in testing equipment and training in our factories.

This achievement is a significant milestone for the liquid bulk industry because the introduction of an industry standard will ensure responsible companies can continue to do business which will guarantee a safer and more professional industry and in so doing continue to provide economic value to the market.

Trans Ocean’s Malaysian factory has dedicated it’s time to the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) audit and certification. The accreditation certifies a strict protocol which the factory personnel have to adhere to during manufacturing, testing and packing.

The definition of the certification is that it is a preventative process to food safety and pharmaceutical safety which addresses physical, chemical and biological hazards, rather than inspections taking place once the product is finished. HACCP is used in the food industry to control food hazards and control risk and safety. The rules can be applied to preparation, packaging and distribution.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) have stated their requirement for HACCP mandatory rules for certain products, including fruit juice and that this is the most reliable system to protect public health.

The requirement for strict food industry protocol, particularly in packaging and distribution markets has always been common practice, but Trans Ocean have instigated a step forward for the liquid bulk industry, taking the driving seat in gaining certification in HACCP.

Technical expertise at your finger tips

Trans Ocean’s technical team work with the flexitank products, liase with our extensive office network, global agents and partners day to day and demonstrate solutions hands on. Customers benefit from the peace of mind that Trans Ocean can offer a greater technical coverage and the ability to respond quicker to a request or incident.

Facts, background information, dossiers
  • agriculture
  • accreditation
More about Trans Ocean
  • White papers

    New developments in bulk logistics

    Trans Ocean flexitanks are designed to transform a standard 20’ ISO container into a non hazardous bulk liquid transport system, which is specifically for one-trip use. The flexitank products are manufactured by Trans Ocean in China, South Africa and more

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    The Trans Ocean Bulk Logistics division handles all products and services related to the transportation of bulk liquids in Flexitanks. Part of the Hillebrand Group since 2007, Trans Ocean efficiently manages all stages of the process, from the manufacture of the tanks, to the logistics invo ... more

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