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What should you consider when transporting liquid?

Industrial transportation is a hazardous business, whether it’s loading and unloading plastic barrels onto lorries or dealing with accidental spillages, the risks are high. Before you even think about the journey, there are a number of considerations that must be made in order for the safe transportation of liquid goods. 

What Are the Most Common Ways to Transport Liquid?

There are many ways to transport liquids safely and securely. Here are three of the most common…

  • ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) tank containers are designed to carry and store liquids in bulk. A standard 20ft ISO tank can hold 20,000-26,000 litres of liquid cargo. They are one of the safest options, as they are made from a strong steel and anti-corrosive material for the long life and protection of cargo.
  • Drums and barrels also offer a safe solution for hazardous materials and these are available in steel, plastic and fibre. Drum containers require a liner or coating for food hygiene safety and for the longevity of the drums themselves. For stability they also require a pallet and strapping for safety. In comparison to ISO tanks, drums and barrels are better suited to much smaller quantities of cargo, with an average capacity of 20 to 250 litres.
  • IBCs (Intermediate Bulk Containers) are a good compromise between the two, with a capacity of between 200 and 1,250 litres. Again, these are safe for the transportation of hazardous materials and are a great size and shape for easy storage and stackability. With a galvanised steel frame around the plastic barrel they have guaranteed stability. They also have the added advantage of top and bottom discharge/loading points, and are easy to use without the need to transfer cargo to another storage tank.

Which Container Material Should You Use?

For the transportation of liquid goods, it is recommended that plastic barrels or steel drums are used. To add extra protection against spillages and contamination, metal and plastic liners can be inserted.

For smaller quantities of liquid cargo, the industrial blue plastic barrels are certainly the most popular. Made from tough rigid plastic, they are sealed exceptionally well and are universally recognised as one of the most reliable and long-lasting industrial storage containers. 

Will It Require More Than One Person to Move Liquid Cargo?

For the transportation and lifting of any of the containers mentioned you will require pallets and a forklift truck, or in the case of the ISO the container itself will be loaded onto a vehicle before it is filled.

The 1,000 litre IBCs are mounted on a pallet and require a pallet truck/forklift to move them onto a vehicle.

Drums and plastic barrels will also require loading and strapping down onto pallets for the safest and easiest method of transportation.

When loading containers, it is vital that the specific guidelines of handling and manoeuvring are adhered to.

Prepare for Spillages and Cleaning Methods in the Event of Accidents

Accidents do happen so spillage cleaning kits should be easily accessible in an emergency. If hazardous chemicals are involved, it is important to first assess the situation, ensuring that the correct PPE is worn before attempting to control or contain the spillage.

Having a spill response plan, spill kit and an understanding of how to respond in case of this eventuality is a fundamental and necessary requirement of the transportation of hazardous liquids.

Health and Safety Precautions

For the safest and most sensible transportation and storage of liquid goods, best practice guidelines for machinery, processes and substances should be followed. These processes include:

  • Loading and unloading
  • Weight and load bearing
  • Correct labelling of hazardous cargo
  • Transportation and storage guidelines
  • Hiring registered and competent carriers to transport goods.

Types of Liquids

Bulk liquid transportation requires dutiful care and consideration, but there are several liquid types that require extra precaution during storage and transportation. Considerations such as the temperature that liquids are kept and stored at, how they are transported and what they can be stored with, and how they should be handled. These hazardous liquid types include:

  • Explosive substances
  • Radioactive substances
  • Biohazards (toxic substances)
  • Flammable liquids
  • Corrosives and combustibles.

Contact ITP Packaging for More Information on Industrial Packaging

ITP Packaging stocks a comprehensive range of packaging that’s designed to meet a wide variety of industrial storage and transport needs.

If you need further information on the best types of packaging for your industry, our expert staff are on hand to answer any of your questions. Contact ITP Packaging today to find out more.

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