Understanding Liquid Cargo Transportation using ISO Tanks

ISO tank

Earlier to 1970’s hazardous and non-hazardous liquid cargo used to be transported in drums, flexibags within containers. This method of transportation was not standardised  was costly and had a high probability of mishaps and accidents. Also it used to be cumbersome when they had to be subjected to multiple modes and handling them was real challenge.

Around 1965 Fairclough personnel Bob Fossey gave shape to the first ISO Tank that could be transported by Road and Rail. Later the improvised version and now commercial version was developed by Andrews of Aintree in the year 1969-70. Made of Stainless Steel with insulation and protective layer of polyurethene and aluminium, ISO tanks are the revolutionary concept in the transportation of liquid, gaseous and powder chemicals. They provide a sturdy safe and user friendly mode of loading, carriage, transportation, shipping and discharge of various hazardous, non-hazardous and food grade chemicals adhering to the international norms regulations of safety.

The ISO tank is one of the widely used tank-containers by Chemical, Sugar and Oil Industries for the transportation of hazardous and non- hazardous liquid cargo.

Lowering costs and environmental impact, Bulk ISO Tanks provide a safe and secure method of transporting liquids in bulk.

Some Benefits:

– ISO tank container can transport up to 60-70% more liquid cargo than drums on dry box containers”

– Flexibags are prone to leaks and spillage, not only costly, but environmentally unsustainable”

– Loading & Discharge is safer, faster, and often times cheaper than drums and flexibags”

– ISO tanks last longer, reusable, and has high resale value compared to drums and bags”

Type of ISO Tanks:

– Swap body tank – a swap body has a bigger tank which is larger than the frame, usually 23 or 25 feet (7.01 or 7.62

  meters) long

– Food-grade tank – a standard tank container which can only be loaded with foodgrade products

– Reefer tank – a tank with the ability to cool the product to be transported

– Gas tank – a tank that is suitable for the transport of gases

– Silo tank – a tank for the transport of grains and powders

– T1 ISO tank container (for wine and light liquids)

– T4 ISO tank container (for non-hazardous edible and non-edible oils)

– T11 ISO tank container (for non-hazardous chemicals)

– T14 ISO tank container (for hazardous chemicals and acids like HCl and zinc chloride)

– T50 ISO tank container (for LPG and ammonia gas)

– T75 ISO tank Container ( for Cryogenic liquids )[2]

– SWAP tank container (for cargo above 26,000 to 32,000 metric tons or 25,600 to 31,500 long tons or 28,700 to   

  35,300 short tons)

– Rubber-lined ISO tank container (for acid-based chemicals


ISO UN Portable tank containers are constructed to a very high standard and are rigorously tested under the ISO standards. They are manufactured from stainless steel which has a high corrosion resistance and it can withstand extreme forces as compared to drums or flexi-bags. All the valves are inspected and approved by the appropriate authorities and three closures are mandatory on all ISO tank containers. This means that the failures must occur at each of the three closures before the tank would leak.

Space Economy

ISO tanks can be stacked with one another or with dry box containers, offering economical space allocation on vessels (Ship) and as temporary storage.


ISO tanks allow repetitive, large capacity haulage without the need for auxiliary packing materials.  A 20-ft ISO tank container can transport up to 60-70% more cargo when compared against loading a regular 20-ft dry box container with drums.   The pre-installed steam coil allows efficient loading/discharge of temperature sensitive liquids.

Greater Flexibility

ISO tank containers enable inter-modal logistics between various modes of transportation including sea vessels, trucks, and rails.  It offers greater flexibility in planning as well as reducing costs and carbon footprints.

Environmentally Friendly

Reported leaks from ISO tank containers are extremely rare and the risk of spillage upon transportation/discharge is vastly reduced when compared against drums or flexi-bags. The ISO tank container is capable of carrying greater volume per container (up to 26,000 liters per tank) and can be transported on railroads;  thereby greatly reducing carbon footprints.   In addition, its versatility in carrying variety of cargoes effectively reduces the need for empty re-positioning.  It also has a long lifespan (approximately 35 years) while drums and flexi-bags has a much shorter lifespan and are rarely recycled.

In case you want to engage for leasing out ISO tanks with transportation, you can get in touch with us at www.valueshipr.com or call 8655012255 and we can partner you with the necessary solutions.

Call us: +91 86550 12255
Email: sales@valueshipr.com