Flexitanks Market – Snapshot
Flexitanks are bags used to transport large quantities of liquids upto 24,000 liters, in a 20- feet container. They are manufactured in standard sizes, ranging from 10,000 liters to 24,000 liters. They are bags of polymer materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, PVC coated fabric, etc. usually employed for transportation of non-hazardous liquids such as wine, fruit juices, edible oils, industrial liquids, sweeteners, agricultural liquids, etc. All the liquids that do not fall under the category of dangerous goods as per IMDG code can be transported using flexitanks. Currently, flexitanks are employed for transport of edible liquids such as wine, fruit juices, edible oils, sweeteners, etc. Around 30% of the wine all over the world is transported using flexitanks.
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Flexitanks are of three types: monolayer, bi-layer, and multilayer. Multilayer flexitanks are the most preferred type owing to their low cost and several advantages. The flexitanks market is anticipated to offer significant potential, especially in the Asia Pacific region. Asia Pacific is one of the leading exporters of liquids such as vegetable oils, aerated & non-aerated beverages, water, industrial and agricultural liquids, etc. due to which Asia Pacific accounted for a major share of the flexitanks market in 2017.
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Low Overall Cost of Flexitanks Compared to that of Other Bulk Packaging Products
The average cost of a flexitank is much higher than the per unit cost of intermediate bulk container IBCs or drums. However, in case of transport of large quantities of liquids, the overall cost of flexitanks, including operational cost, proves to be more economical than that of its counterparts. A standard 20-feet container is usually chosen to transport bulk quantities of liquids. The 20-feet container accommodates one flexitank with the capacity of 24000 liters. It requires around 18 units to 20 units of IBC tanks and 80 units of drums to transport an equivalent or lesser quantity of liquid in a 20-feet container. The quantity of cargo/liquid that can be transported decreases marginally in IBCs and drums due to the large number of units. The per unit cost of ISO tanks is high. It ranges from around US$ 15,000 to US$ 16,000. Often, ISO tanks are procured on a rental basis, wherein the per day rent of these tanks ranges between US$ 15 and US$ 20. This proves to be high for longer duration journeys. Furthermore, the user has to bear an additional return cost for getting the empty ISO tanks back to the destination. Thus, the overall cost of flexitanks proves to be 30% to 40% lesser compared to that of other bulk packaging products.
Risk of Cargo Loss due to Leakage
Risk of leakage of cargo in flexitanks is higher than that in other bulk packaging carriers. Flexitanks are made up of polyethylene or polypropylene. Chances of damage to the flexitank material are high due to improper or careless handling during loading/unloading. Therefore, utmost care has to be taken while loading and discharging flexitanks in and from containers. These operations can be conducted by operators that provide fitting services of flexitanks into containers. These can also be carried out by flexitank manufacturers with technical expertise and knowhow. Flexitanks are useful in transportation of bulk quantities of products. Hence, they appeal only to users transporting bulk quantities of cargo/liquid. Flexitanks are not feasible for small players transporting less quantities of liquids. An entire quantity of a liquid is stored in a flexitank. Therefore, chances of losing the entire quantity of liquid during a case of contamination is high. This can lead to significant losses.
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