[ID] => 9508
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-05-29 09:00:37
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-29 08:00:37
[post_content] => Thirty years ago the world was still trying to get to grips with the relatively new-fangled idea of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). Indeed, a strap line on our cover seemed to be trying to reassure industry that such containers were “up to the task”.
But if potential users still needed convincing, the regulators were even further behind. As one feature in the June 1988 issue began: “The much-heralded UN recommendations on IBCs should have meant a speedy adoption of harmonised requirements at national and international level for all modes of transport. That was the theory…”
The UN experts had adopted in the fourth revised edition of the UN Model Regulations a new Chapter 16 that laid out for the first time a consistent set of recommendations, which was designed to get around the need for the lengthy case-by-case approvals process for international movements of IBCs containing dangerous goods.
However, as we said at the time, both IMO’s Carriage of Dangerous Goods Sub-committee and the RID/ADR experts had shown “an indifference verging on reluctance” to incorporate those recommendations into their respective regulations, “effectively denying chemical shippers the use of IBCs as a practical, cost-effective distribution option”.
As it happened, the March 1988 meeting of the RID/ADR experts had done some more work on the topic and were prepared to begin adopting the provisions, but with a number of significant revisions compared to those in the UN Model Regulations. At the time – and not for the last time – we pondered on how such a state of affairs could come to be, seeing as most of the RID/ADR experts were among those who had drawn up the original provisions at UN level.
Despite that, we also reported that the previous 12 months had seen IBC manufacturers generally enjoying a healthy level of turnover and, with growing demand, investing in product innovation: “Most manufacturers, having examined the UN recommendations, are already making the necessary design and production changes to enable containers to be produced according to the UN criteria.”
Indeed, so intense was the level of innovation that our June 1988 survey only had room to cover developments in metal and flexible IBCs; we had to run a separate article later in the year to look at composite and all-plastics IBCs.
The situation was somewhat different in North America, where around 16 suppliers of rigid IBCs in the US and Canada had been providing units for more than 30 years. An article by Vince Vitollo noted that the safety record of IBCs in hazardous materials service had been “very good” and that, while the US Hazardous Materials Regulations had long provided construction and testing specifications, the use of polyethylene IBCs for the carriage of corrosives was gaining traction under an exemption provided by DOT.
The growth in the use of metal and plastics IBCs in North America was prompted not by the desire to maximise the capacity of shipping containers, as was the case elsewhere, but primarily by concerns over the disposal of non-bulk packagings. Chemical shippers were increasingly turning to IBCs in an effort to bring greater control over the distribution process and avoid problems associated with the disposal of used packagings. They were, perhaps, rather ahead of the rest of the world when it came to such issues.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: June 1988
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[post_name] => 30-years-ago-june-1988
[post_modified] => 2018-05-01 16:08:06
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-01 15:08:06
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[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=9508
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30 Years Ago: June 1988
// By Peter Mackay on 29 May 2018
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