A flexitank is a large plastic bag, fitted with a loading and discharge valve. Prior to loading, the flexi-tank bag is laid out into a box container. Unlike the tank container, which is re-used repeatedly, the flexitank is designed for one trip. The empty contaminated bag must be disposed in an approved waste facility. Certain materials can be incinerated and others might be suitable for shredding in preparation for recycling. Currently, containers are tested and approved by issue of a safety certificate (CSC); however, flexitanks are tested independently of the container. At present, there are no regulations forcing manufactures to test the integrated package of bag and box, although trade associations have developed their own test programs. The flexi tank can accept a variety of nonhazardous liquids such as latex, wine, lubricants, additives, edible oils and many more, depending on the material with which the tanks are made.
The market for flexitanks is driven by their merits of being environmentally friendly, taking the least amount of time and effort in filling and discharging and are compatible with the most number of fluids that are transported. Moreover, flexitanks overcome many of the problems associated with ISO tank containers, IBCs or drums. Furthermore, since these tanks are used once, they vastly reduce the risk of cross-contamination. On the other hand, the major constraint faced with flexitanks during transportation is when fully laden. The weight of the 24,000 liter bag causes the side wall of the box container to distort outwards beyond the ISO container. The side wall is designed to withstand a certain pay-load for static cargo. The flexi tank load is liquid and the laden bag effectively forms the shape of the box.
Cargo surge during movement and transport of the box results in potentially excessive side and end wall loads and potential instability during trucking and lifting. Also, flexitanks are not suitable for certain fluids that are hazardous or fall under the Dangerous Goods category of the IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code. Environmental issues also arise during the disposal of these flexitanks in case of single-use ones. Recently there are many manufacturers who have come up with quality plastics for use as flexitank material which can be a driving factor for this market.
Based on the number of times a flexitank is used, they can be categorized as multi-trip or single-trip. The first flexitanks were designed on the basis that they would be for multi-trip use. This meant that cleaning and repositioning costs were incurred. However, these costs have been eliminated with the single-trip flexitank, the type now most commonly in use. The single-trip type now accounts for more than 95% of the global market.
Geographically, the flexitank market s mainly concentrated in India, China and Malaysia as these are emerging markets followed closely by the rest of the Asia Pacific region. Europe is also seeing a surge in the demand of flexitanks mostly in the U.K. and Germany. Canada and the U.S. dominate the demand side in the North American region. Large orders for flexitanks has also been seen recently from the Rest of the World, especially South Africa, Brazil and Russia.
Some of the key players involved in the manufacturing of flexitanks are: Braid Logistics (UK) Ltd., Trans Ocean Ltd., Print-Packaging.Com (P) Ltd., SIA Flexitanks Ltd. and KUEHNE + NAGEL INC.
This research report analyzes this market depending on its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. Geographies analyzed under this research report include
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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