DHL Global Forwarding has collaborated with Liquitank Solutions on a bulk liquid transporter system of flexitanks called DHL Reefertanks.
DHL Reefertanks is a three-tank system, using three separate flexitanks, aimed at transporting bulk liquids like citrus juice, edible oils and nonhazardous liquids that require temperature control while in transit.
Reefertanks could provide more profit and less cost to customers when transporting bulk liquids, according to Goetz Alebrand, head of ocean freight, DHL Global Forwarding, Americas.
“We are replacing loads that are loaded traditionally in drums with a three-tank system; it’s also easier to handle than a traditional tank system,” Alebrand told FreightWaves. “It saves up on a lot of packaging and gives you more space for actual payload to be loaded onto a refrigerated container.”
DHL Reefertanks are manufactured by Victoria, Canada-based Liquitank Solutions Inc., which makes a suite of flexitanks used in the bulk liquid transportation industry.
Traditionally, bulk liquids such as water, concentrates, citrus juices, wines and edible oils are transported using ISO tanks (hard tanks) or refrigerated containers of 55-gallon drums, as well as 40-foot-long flexitanks in refrigerated containers.
Jeffrey Plumley, head of flexitank, DHL Global Forwarding Americas, said DHL Reefertanks allows for a greater yield of products compared to existing options and also has increased temperature visibility while in transit.
“We get a greater yield versus drums in that you have 4,500 pounds of drums in a container that can be used for actual payloads. By utilizing DHL Reefertanks in comparison, you’re looking at maybe a little over 100 pounds for the three tanks,” Plumley said. “So 4,500 pounds versus 100 pounds for packaging, that all goes to payload. You get a higher yield in the Reefertanks in one container.”
Plumley said in the pilot shipments performed using the DHL Reefertanks from Mexico to Florida this past fall, they left less residue or heel in the tanks and “had a yield of .996%, which is unheard of.”
“Our heel left was measured in quarts, maybe 5 gallons versus 35 to 100-plus gallons,” Plumley said. “You’re just going to get more product out of each container with Reefertanks.”
The DHL Reefertanks have a flow rate of up to 264 gallons per minute, Plumley said.
“Generally speaking, you can fill a container in about 30 minutes and discharge even faster than that,” Plumley said.
Alebrand said DHL already has a lot of customers from Latin America, as well as Europe and Asia, that have shown interest in the Reefertanks.
“They are interested because they want to get a higher payload to the containers, because they see you can get a better yield than ISO tanks,” Alebrand said. “We are in contact with some customers in the greater Latin America markets, such as Argentina and Peru; those are the traditional markets where those kinds of products are produced and shipped. Along with the Americas, we’re quite confident that others will take interest in Europe and in Asia as well.”
More articles by Noi Mahoney