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Tank Containers - For Better, Safer and Cheaper Transport of Liquids

What is a Tank Container?

A tank container is a stainless steel pressure vessel fitted within a standard 20ft ISO carbon steel frame, enabling safe, efficient and cost-effective carriage of liquids, both hazardous chemicals and foodgrade products, worldwide by sea, rail and road.

Normal capacities range from 17,500 litres to 26,000 litres within these restrictive ISO dimensions - 6,058mm x 2,438mm x 2,591mm (20' x 8' x 8'6")

The tank industry is regulated by various bodies functioning under the umbrella of the United Nations, in particular the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Tank containers are manufactured to strict international specifications and thereafter are maintained in accordance with strict international regulations through internationally accepted Inspection Agencies.


The tank containers marketed by PTS are manufactured by Welfit Oddy, also of Port Elizabeth, the largest and most respected tank container manufacturers in the world. Welfit Oddy are undisputed world leaders in manufacture, design and quality - the first tank container manufactured by them was in 1986.

Products Carried

There are generally three types of products for which tank containers are used:

Chemicals Normally limited to flammable, poisonous and corrosive products.
Wines & spirits Red and white wines, whisky, brandy, bourbon, rum, etc.
Foodgrade Milk, fruit juices, edible oils, corn syrup, food additives (e.g. sorbitol).

Tank Containers vs Steel Drums

Tank containers provide a far superior method of transporting liquids compared with 200 litre steel drums, considering the following:

Increased payload - Drums are limited to 14,400 litres per 20 ft dry box container (72 x 200 litres), the largest possible volume package available. With a tank container, depending on the density of the product, up to 25,220 litres can be carried (assuming 97% filling of 26,000 litre tank), an increment of 75%! Even with a high density product, where a smaller capacity tank container needs to be used, a significant improvement is achieved (e.g. 18% with a 17,500 litre tank)

Improved efficiency - Elimination of direct and indirect costs - cost of drums and liners, filling, sealing, packing, unpacking at destination, storage, discharge, disposal of liners and drums. By comparison, a tank container is filled at source, sealed, transported and discharged at destination - clean, easy, and cost and labour efficient.

Improved quality - Reduced chance of contamination of product. Tank insulation protects product against temperature fluctuations. Super-insulated tanks are capable of delivering temperature-sensitive products in prime quality condition to previously unthought of distant destinations!

Increased safety - Tank containers are designed to withstand harsh operating conditions and provide excellent protection of the product and the environment in the event of an accident. Drums carry a considerable uncontrollable risk and costly damage and loss in such an event.

Reduced wastage - Drums provide considerable problems with wastage (residue left on discharge) and disposal thereof, especially with hazardous chemicals. The cost of disposal of this residue in a legally permitted manner is expensive. Tank containers guarantee minimal wastage (5 litres) and give no disposal headaches. This is a financial consideration that alone will persuade all users of drums along the supply chain to migrate to tank containers.

Additional Information

Please contact us should you require additional information.

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