The Role of IBC Tanks in Logistics

The Role of IBC Tanks in Logistics

Intermediate bulk containers (IBC) are large industrial tanks that provide efficient and cost-effective ways of storing and transporting liquids, pastes, semi-solids, and solids. IBC tanks are used by several companies in diverse industries to transport and store their goods. IBC tanks are cheap, lightweight, durable, and reusable. They are cube-shaped and are of different sizes and designs. When learning all about IBC tanks-“Intermediate Bulk Containers have capacities ranging from 500 to 1200 liters and the dimensions of an IBC tank ranges from 90 by 90 cm to 115 by 115 cm. Based on the design, the IBC bank could be rigid or flexible. The rigid tanks are encased by metal bars that prevent damages and ensure easy stacking. The flexible tanks have their sides reinforced by stitches to hold their shape and flatten when empty.

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IBC Tanks and the Concept of Logistics

The supply chain refers to the flow of resources between several parties (companies), aimed at meeting customer needs. Logistics plays an important role in the supply chain. They are the activities involved in the forward movement of materials from one stage of production to another until it gets to the final consumer and the backward transportation of already manufactured goods. The main aim of logistics is to provide customers’ satisfaction while minimizing cost.

What is Logistic Cost Optimization using IBC tanks?

Every organization tries to optimize cost while maintaining standard quality, efficiency, and performance. Some of the major questions on the mind of managers in relation to cost optimization are -˜what method and equipment can be used to reduce cost?’. Logistics in an organization is one aspect of manufacturing that is cost-intensive. Cost is incurred while transporting materials from one stage of production to another. Transportation in logistics might be within the same factory, from one department to another, between two distant factories, from the factory to wholesalers or retailers, or from the factory to consumers and each movement is capable of incurring excess cost if not effectively managed.

6 Ways Intermediate Bulk Containers Optimize Logistics Costs.

The following are 6 ways to optimize logistics costs and the role IBC tanks play in this process:

  • Shipment consolidation. This involves the alignment of the inbound and outbound transportation of products to ensure all containers and trucks hold as much as possible. IBC tanks come in various sizes and designs. Based on the product to be stored or transport, the company determines the best tank size to use although the most commonly used size is the 1000L size. The tanks are light-weighted and can be tightly packed in storage or in transit. The tanks are made to be easily stackable to conserve space. IBC tanks come with pallets; platforms on which the tanks are placed. IBC tanks take in more products and occupy less space as compared to shipping drums.
  • Reduced loading time. Decreasing the loading time of products into the stores or transport vehicles reduces logistics cost and increases productivity. The use of IBC tanks within a company reduces loading time and aids productivity. Based on their shape, size, and design, the overall number of units that would be used in storage and transport are reduced. These features of the IBC tanks also allow them to be easily lifted and transported with the use of pallet jacks and forklifts.
  • Versatility of transport. IBC tanks are suitable for the storage and shipping of different kinds of cargo. Their durable and reusable design makes it possible to transport and store different kinds of material, ranging from food products to industrial chemicals. This allows businesses to save on logistics costs.
  • Preventing loss of products. Loss of product would increase costs. Products could be lost during either storage or transport due to damage of the storage vessels, spillage during transport, or incomplete emptying of the carrying vessel. The IBC tanks possess some features that help mitigate the loss of product during storage and transportation. They possess caps that are tightly sealed to prevent spillage, corner protectors that prevent the edges of the tanks from damages, and bottom outlets for easy offloading of liquid or paste. This bottom outlet ensures that all the products within the container are completely emptied. Also, the wire cage around the body of the tanks protects them from damage and prevents spillage in case of collision.
  • Reusing equipment. Logistics cost within a company can be optimized by reusing equipment. IBC tanks optimize cost because they are reusable up to two or three times. They can easily be washed for reuse. However, the product that the tank was used to store or transport determines its reusability property. IBC tanks are readily reusable within the food industry, but might not be reusable within some chemical industries dealing in highly corrosive liquids or products that cannot be easily washed off the tank.
  • Ease of handling. To save logistic costs, equipment should be designed to make them easy to handle, safe to use, and also helpful in creating efficiency. IBC tanks offer this benefit as they’re easy to handle, maneuver, and stack securely on top of one another. This makes it easy for workers to work with, ensuring safety, creating efficiency, and reducing logistic costs in the long run.

An Example of IBC and Logistics Optimization.

The Hoyer Group with its fleet of more than 50,000 intermediate Bulk Containers, offers the chemicals, food, and cosmetic industries an ideal alternative to drums and tank containers in transporting their liquid product.

Route Optimization: what to consider?

Route optimization is a vital component to consider when looking to maximize your logistical processes. Below are the main factors to consider when choosing route optimization:

  • Real-Time Traffic Consideration. A study says that in 2017, the U.S. alone incurred a congestion cost of $305 billion. Considering real-time traffic will greatly save logistic costs and ensure prompt delivery and win consumers’ recognition.
  • Order-Vehicle Constraints. Two different types of products cannot be shipped together. For example, mobile phones and vegetables. On the other hand, some goods require special transportation.
  • Historical Data inspection. Your choice of route optimization must have the capacity to examine historical data.
  • Dynamic Route Planning. This is the capacity to optimally handle on-demand orders along with scheduled orders. This includes re-routing on the go. Orders and preferences of customers could change while the rider is out to deliver. Route optimization must be able to change and create new routes.

Understanding Logistics 4.0 and IBCs

Logistics 4.0 is all about digitizing and adding autonomy to logistics. So, what is logistics 4.0?  It involves automating logistics to make it easier, faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective. Logistics 4.0 aims to create cohesion and visibility within the supply chain to uncover sources and areas of waste and inefficiency towards optimization and automatization.

To achieve this aim, logistics 4.0 makes use of machine-to-machine communication and the Internet of Things (IoT). The containers, pallets, transport vehicles, and transport systems employed within logistics 4.0 are classified as -˜smart’. They connect to the internet and to other devices and allow supply chain managers to be aware of the inventory situation at every point in time of transportation while optimizing cost.

The concept of the internet of things (IoT) looks at the connectedness of devices to the internet. Various devices from different parts of the world connect to the internet and digital networks. With this connection, the devices communicate and share data and information within themselves.

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Concluding Logistics and IBCs

A new approach of smart monitoring has been included in IBC tanks which provides supply chain managers with real-time insight into the entire value chain. The managers can monitor the movement of each IBC tank in transit. With this, managers can know, understand and keep track of inventory within the whole supply chain. This integration of logistics 4.0 with the IBC tanks increases efficiency, optimizes the cost of logistics, and increases the return on capital.

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