Bulk Distributor May/Jun 16 - Page 8

8 Tank Containers BULKDISTRIBUTOR May/June 2016 Banging the drum for tanks in Asia I t has been a busy time of late for the Asian Tank Container Organization (@tco). President Reg Lee and technical director Graham Wood both presented at the Asia Chemical Supply Chain Executive Summit held in Shanghai in March. The two day meeting attracted almost 100 people, many of them representing major chemical companies. Lee and Wood’s joint presentation was on Asia Chemical/ Petrochemical Tank Container Trends and Challenges. They took the opportunity to include new material and photographs from the Tianjin accident which included the safety features of tank containers that prevented them from exploding even when engulfed by fire during the disaster. Also included was some of the new information on the development in Chinese intermodal transport was supplied by Dr Binglian Song, of Shanghai Maritime University. They also highlighted a number of points that they believed logistics professionals in chemical companies should be aware of. For example, they should ensure that any bulk liquid containment systems, such as flexitanks, should not be disposed of in landfill or by other environmentally hazardous methods. Moreover, everyone involved in supply chain management must take responsibility for ensuring the safe disposal of any waste residue generated in the chain. Not surprisingly, they recommend using equipment such as tank containers which Lee and Wood said have a minimal carbon footprint over their life time. In conclusion, they stated: “The support of chemical companies is imperative for the industry to reach the highest standards in the shortest period of time.” After the presentation, Lee joined a panel discussion on the Challenges & Opportunities of the One Belt, One Road initiative. Moderated by Ee-Foong Ewe, Vice President ICIS Consulting (and ex Infinum, Singapore), the panel also included Makarand Inamdar, management & business consultant, Reliance Industries Ltd India, and Justin Barrow, general manager, Damco West China. One Belt, One Road is a Chinese government initiative, introduced by President Xi Jinping, with the stated aim of connecting major Eurasian economies through infrastructure, trade and investment. The initiative was later specified to include two international trade connections: the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt and oceangoing Maritime Silk Road. It became clear as the meeting progressed that not many of the audience fully understood the concept and all had their own interpretation, Lee reported. As far as @tco members were concerned, Lee said some had already started to move full train loads via the Rail Silk Road from Europe. However, progress has been very slow. In order for the tank container industry to play a part in this initiative the Chinese government must be prepared to invest in improving rail infrastructure, he added. This should include main rail hubs having their own container lifting facilities and modified rolling stock capable of securing tank containers safely. They will also need storage and trucking facilities at these rail hubs for delivery to the final destination. It would also be preferable to have repair and cleaning depots at the major hubs. 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