This is a problem that continues to be a thorn in the side for ISO Tank operators / agents and cleaning depots in India.
Every month there are a few cases of ISO tanks failing QC criteria at the factories after the ISO tank have reported to the plant for export stuffing.
In India, some of the reasons why this happens are as under :
- ISO Tank still has some impurities at the time of steam cleaning at factory. A probable cause could be an improper cleaning process.
- Water residue in the ISO Tank. A probable cause could be condensation or rain water splashing when the man lid is opened.
- Not able to operate the bottom discharge handle at factory. A probable cause could be unskilled workers handling the ISO Tank.
In India, ISO Tank is surveyed for cleanliness by third party survey companies on behalf of tank operators to mitigate the risks related to unclean tanks. However, there are several conditions that survey companies cite in their defense.
- Tanks were cleaned some time ago.
- Tanks were not sealed immediately after cleaning.
- Tanks were clean at the time of actual physical verification by surveyor, don’t know what happened after.
The return of tanks to the depot has various impact on the customer relationship.
- It undermines the processes set by the tank operator in the choice of cleaning vendor and there on the brand value of the Tank Operator.
- Vessel is missed. Destination arrival deadlines as well.
- Production process is hampered.
- Additional labor costs as many factories hire temporary labor to assist the stuffing process.
- Cost of transportation to the plant is debited back to agent / cleaning depot resulting in unforeseen costs for stake holders.
- Disgruntled customers.
The best solution would be for a higher level of checks and supervision before the tank is gated out from the depot. A strong process set by cleaning stations to set up a standard that ensure zero returns will help this problem to be ruled out.
All stake holders must work on fixing the problem, than fixing the blame.