[ID] => 10318
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-11-29 08:46:56
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-29 08:46:56
[post_content] => Thirty years ago, the last issue of the year led with a special feature on road tankers. It included our annual listing of UK-based road tanker operators, a list that was then far longer than it is now, when those hauliers willing and able to move liquid chemicals in bulk can almost be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Intriguingly, some of the coverage in the December 1988 issue is almost the mirror image of what we have been writing about lately, in respect of the UK industry’s relationship with continental Europe. We spoke in 1988 to Tankfreight, which was then one of the two largest road tanker specialists in the UK alongside P&O Roadtanks, about its plans ahead of the introduction of the EU free market in 1992 and the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
In May 1988 the Freight Transport Association (FTA) had surveyed its members and found that 79 per cent of UK transport companies had made no provision for the single European market; a similar survey this year found that a similar percentage had made no provision for the UK’s exit from the single market, albeit they still have no firm idea of the trading conditions after March 2019.
But back to 1988; Tankfreight said it had begun to establish a presence “on the continent”, opening an office in the Netherlands. Market research had shown that customers were likely to want a comprehensive, value-adding service that included storage and cleaning as well as haulage. Tankfreight reckoned that this would mean turning itself from a pure road tanker operator to a multimodal company with half its tanks being tank containers or swap tanks. It was also expecting to make use of cooperative arrangements and joint ventures with established European firms.
Over on the regulations pages, 1988 was drawing to a close with a hefty dose of major amendments and updates. The UN Group of Rapporteurs – the forerunner of today’s Sub-committee of Experts – was finalising work on organic peroxides. Or at least, it though it was, as the list of organic peroxides grows larger every year (and will do again in 2019). Also finalised in 1988 were new leakproofness tests for aerosols and provisional definitions for ‘reused packaging’ and ‘reconditioned packaging’.
At a previous session, the USSR (as it still was) had proposed a fundamental overhaul of Chapter 12 of the Orange Book but this was headed off at the pass as most delegates felt a re-write of the provisions for tank containers would lead to endless headaches. Still, the USSR enlisted the help of the UK and Canada with two new papers on the degree of filling and minimum test pressures, pointing towards further long-running discussions.
Elsewhere, the IMO was beginning to realise that the HNS Convention, designed to do for hazardous and noxious substances what the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund had already done for oil, was going to be a headache to implement. Indeed, as we said then, it “proved an impossible task for the IMO’s Legal Committee”.
And for those who still wonder why ammonia gets an easy ride in the US, we reported on the concerted efforts of the farming lobby to prohibit the US DOT from re-classifying it as a toxic gas.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: December 1988
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
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[post_name] => 30-years-ago-december-1988
[post_modified] => 2018-11-06 08:49:40
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-06 08:49:40
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30 Years Ago: December 1988
// By Peter Mackay on 29 Nov 2018
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