Responding to a regional need for support and information, Asia-focused tank container trade group @tco is rapidly expanding its depot audit scheme and adding to its membership.
The Asian Tank Container Organisation (@tco) has recently completed its first audit of a depot in China. The organisation, which was formed in late 2010 to promote the safe handling of tank containers in Asia and highlight the advantages of tank container transport, rolled out its region-specific depot audit scheme last year. The aim of the scheme is to help guarantee that depots in Asia operate according to the same quality and safety standards as depots in the most established markets worldwide.
“In the last year, two fatalities have been reported by tank container depots – one in Singapore, and the other was in China – which again demonstrates the need for safe handling in depots,” explains @tco president Reg Lee. “When @tco met in Shanghai with John Goa of the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM), he explained the problem that his organisation was experiencing with regard to obtaining reliable audits from various repair and cleaning depots being used
by their members. It was then that @tco offered to establish a depot audit scheme for tank containers with its own appointed surveyor who would ensure that the successfully completed audits would be recorded on our website and renewed every two years.
“Our @tco depot audit scheme has been well-received by the Asian chemical industry, and it has encouraged us to expand as quickly as possible into all regions. The Asia market believes that this will assist and encourage the safe handling of tank containers for the benefit of all companies in the liquid supply chain. To date, we have successfully audited five depots, which include three in Singapore, one in Thailand and one in Malaysia. The details of all five depot audits can be seen on the @tco website.
“Now that we have translated the depot audit documentation into Mandarin, we have been able to complete our first depot audit in China. In addition, we have received documentation from five other depots in China and a further depot in Singapore, all requesting to be audited. Arrangements are now being made to have all six depots audited within the next four to six weeks.” The first depot in China to be audited by @tco was Qingdao Ocean and General Asia Logistics in Qingdao City.
@tco representatives are also increasingly being asked to speak at industry events. @tco has just accepted an invitation to make a presentation at the Logichem Asia conference to be held in Singapore June 26 to 28 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. “This logistics event will attract most of the big chemical companies involved in the Asia market, so we believe that this is the right type of event at which to promote the benefits of tank containers,” says Lee.
Additionally, arrangements have been made for Lee to make a presentation to the membership of the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF). Lee’s talk is to highlight the advantages of tank container transport. Details about the presentation are not yet finalised, but the meeting with the CPCIF membership is expected to take place in October or November.
@tco is also preparing for its next general meeting, which is scheduled to take place on May 9 at The ‘M’ Hotel at 81 Anson Road, Singapore. “We have put together an interesting programme, which includes a presentation from Dow Chemical’s Niklas Meinstrup, director, business services group, Asia-Pacific and India,” says Lee. “Also featured will be Maersk Container Line Malaysia’s Bjarne Foldager, who will be giving his company’s views on the future of the market in the Asia region and the expanded use of the tank container.” The Bulletin will report back on this meeting in a forthcoming issue.
Growing in number
@tco also continues to grow its membership ranks. The organisation has just added two new companies: the Singapore-based branch of depot equipment provider Groninger Cleaning Systems, and China-based tank component manufacturer Langfang BIP, an associate company of France-headquartered Perolo. “I am pleased to report that since our last @tco general meeting in Shanghai, we now have 24 members, and there are with several other companies inquiring about membership,” says Lee.
Other @tco member companies include manufacturer China International Marine Containers (CIMC), consultancy group Davlis, lessor EXSIF Worldwide, equipment provider Fort Vale, inspection group SilverCims, Sinochem, tank container operator Stolt Tank Containers, Transamerica Leasing, logistics provider Bertschi, lessor Seaco, Girard Equipment, Hoyer, operator NewPort Tank, manufacturer NTtank, manufacturer Singamas, Eagletainer Logistics, operator Bulkhaul, Unitas Containers, Trifleet Leasing, and manufacturer Zhongshan Zhonghua Tank Containers (ZZTC).
Published with permission of HCB Publications Ltd.