December 17, 2017

Returnable Packaging Solutions

Returnable packaging solution is the most effective strategy to reduce waste in mining supply chain. It offers safe transportation of materials and chemical from one point to another. Packaging companies are becoming more environmentally conscious and they are making waste reduction their fundamental priority.

Returnable packaging solutions can be developed in different materials depending on customer requirements, steel, plastic, carbon, wood etc. All these materials and combinations of these materials have been used to achieve a solution which reduces waste. As much as waste reduction is vital, it is not a sole focal point when considering returnable packaged solution. End-users should take a holistic approach and ensure that the solution adheres to the basic total cost. The solution must enable safe, fast and easy loading to and from your vehicle of choice. It should provide lower handling cost throughout the supply chain.

“The solution must offer total product protection and should withstand all the stresses of the supply chain. It must present collapsible packaging solutions with optimal fill factor and stacking capability for the return leg of the supply chain,” says Dale Good, CEO of GLS Supply chain equipment. Returnable packaging solution must have process and equipment control, no returnable packaging solution will be cost effective unless you are able to track and account for every asset in all places.

Flexi tanks

These are Flexible containers which move anything from 1000 litres – 24 litres in bulk. They present a cost and time efficient method of transporting non-hazardous liquids to destinations which cannot be reached by tankers or larger volume carriers.

Shafiek Ganief, Manager GLS Liquid Transport Solution, says environmental concerns and regulations put pressure on companies, forcing them to reduce packaging volume and the impact of supply chains on the environment. Flexi tanks can be manufactured as single-use or multi-use packaging and is in most instances fully recyclable.

The weakness of key consumer sectors, such as automotive forces industrial consumers in the lubricant industry (which represents about 43% of flexi tank deliveries) to reduce stock in order to limit exposure to market volatility and to order smaller volume, i.e., using flexi tanks rather than regular cargo.

Modern flexi tanks overcome many of the problems associated with ISO tank containers, IBCs, or drums. “Customers prefer flexi tanks because of its major advantages: bigger capacity – due to its flexibility, every inch of container space is available allowing the shipment of 31% more content than with IBC, totes, and drums. Delivery period is as fast as bulk cargo,” states Shafiek.

Benefits of Flexi tanks

‘Eco-friendly’ packaging – the polyethylene material of the flexi tanks can be recycled and be re-used for return leg of contaminated liquid or dirty lubricants. Flexi tanks can be used as temporary or as an alternative to a permanent storage tank. Shipping containers can be transferred to trucks, so flexi tanks can serve as a cost-effective door-to-door package for deep inland and difficult to reach destinations.

The regional markets in African locations suffer from inadequate infrastructure and flexi tank is often the ideal solution for them. Through the use of flexi tanks, there is tremendous growth potential in these regions. According to World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, transport and logistics costs in most of Africa’s landlocked countries are excessively high, accounting for 20–60% of the prices of delivered goods.

“African leaders are starting to take a very strong stance against dumping mining waste which has been happening for decades in Africa. Mining companies will now be forced to present an environmental impact report and waste removal strategy before and during the whole mining process. Mining will have no more versatile packaging than Flexi tanks and IBC’s to cost effectively move their liquid supplies and waste to and from remote laying mines and power generation plants,” explains Shafiek.

Economic growth in Africa is on the increase. Local businesses need to establish easy and smooth trading connections within the continent as well as with the rest of the world. Accordingly, modern logistics solutions strive to turn these challenges into real competitive advantages. Flexi tanks are a unique, modern, and cost effective solution to deliver liquid goods easier and faster even to landlocked countries and difficult to reach destinations.

GLS Supply Chain Equipment

This Company has taken the use of flexi tanks a step further, amounting to even more cost savings not just for the supplier but also for the end users, explains Dale Fresh Lubricants can now be sent to mines and power generating plants where flexi tanks can be used for intermediate storage and can be used directly from the container. After emptying the tank from fresh lube oils, the tank can now be filled in its same container with used oil and sent back to the manufacturer for recycling.

GLS equipment also provides returnable, rentable and collapsible IBC and Flexi tank units which could be used for the same purpose of recycling oil usage for mines and power generating plants.

Logistic is a key aspect of the chemical and mining industry because production and consumption locations are usually separated. Efficient, competitive, and sustainable logistics are of great importance for productivity and avoiding waste in those industries.

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