[ID] => 10593
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-02-28 09:26:56
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-28 09:26:56
[post_content] => “Bulk chemical storage results soar,” shouted the cover of HCB thirty years ago – and there was plenty to back that up inside the magazine. Bulk liquids terminal operators had just enjoyed a bumper year, buoyed by strong economic and chemical industry performance that led to tank utilisation rates of 85 per cent or more.
Since then, there have been plenty of similarly good times for the bulk storage sector, a business that often does well against the cycle that other sectors are trapped in. And in 1989 that was certainly the case, despite moves in the supply chain – such as the rise of just-in-time deliveries – that actually worked against the business.
Nevertheless, we were able in 1989 to report on some big developments, not least the first (!) independent chemical terminal in Malaysia, which was due for commissioning by Fima-Unitank in the middle of the year. We said at the time that attention was likely to move away from the established hub of Singapore to other parts of Asia, “with the nascent chemical industries in Thailand, Indonesia and China likely to be requiring the product balancing services offered by third-party tank farms”. If only we had known then how big the level of demand would be.
Despite – or perhaps, rather, because of – that level of success, reading through the items included in the March 1989 issue often raises the question: “Where are they now?” The terminals are still there, or almost all of them, but many of the names may be unfamiliar to younger readers: PetroUnited, General Tank Storage, Matex, Gebr Broere, Simon Storage, Unitank, Powll Duffryn, Paktank, GATX, Panocean… It is something of a relief to come across Oiltanking, Stolthaven, Tepsa and a few others.
Elsewhere in the March 1989 issue, we reported on progress with the development of the new ADN regulations, covering the transport of dangerous goods by inland waterway in Europe. While there had been for some time a set of rules for navigation on the Rhine – ADNR – the completion of the Rhine-Danube canal had encouraged Hungary and other states (as well as the Danube Commission) to support a pan-European document.
The new ADN regulations were to be based primarily on RID and ADR and it is salutary to recall that it was only in 1988 that Europe’s regulators were beginning to accept the UN system for ‘not otherwise specified’ entries; these were to be included in ADN from the beginning, while the RID/ADR experts had only just accepted them in principle.
There was also a lengthy article on the wreck of the Cason in north-west Spain in December 1987. The vessel had left Antwerp with a mixed cargo of containerised goods and drummed chemicals; it ran into heavy weather near Cape Finisterre and fire broke out in its cargo. The crew evacuated to lifeboats but only eight of the 31-man crew were rescued.
Despite the best efforts of salvage tugs, the stricken Cason was blown onto the rocks. Initially, responders had little idea of the cargo of the ship but were provided within a few hours with a full manifest and a detailed stowage diagram – something that seems beyond containership operators these days. Indeed, the story of how the cargo was removed provides a lesson for those responding to containership fires today.
[post_title] => 30 Years Ago: March 1989
[post_status] => publish
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[post_name] => 30-years-ago-march-1989
[post_modified] => 2019-03-07 12:10:12
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-07 12:10:12
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[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10593
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30 Years Ago: March 1989
// By Peter Mackay on 28 Feb 2019
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