Sketches – Liquid Pallet

This sketch really is almost superfluous, but I’ve included it in here mainly for completeness sake. If you do a lot of freight work, you might have noticed that there isn’t too much call for drums of chemicals anymore. Oh, they’re still around true, but there’s been a slow but steady retreat from their usage, and the reason is quite simple: they’re a crappy form factor. They’re nothing more than steel barrels after all, with all the problems that they come with: they’re hard to stack, they leave gaps in any amount of space (meaning they’re inherently inefficient), they require specific tools to use and transport, and are easier to knock over and damage. If you’ve ever seen what you have to do in order to get four barrels securely loaded onto a pallet, you know what I mean.

So, enter the Intermediate Bulk Container. In its most basic form, it is a plastic tank, but most kinds are given some sheathing in metal (usually a steel mesh) to provide some additional impact resistance. Sturdier versions include a steel “tub” around the lower part of the tank, as seen in the sketch above. All versions include plates for attaching labels, warning placards, and the like. In addition to a filling hole on top, several designs include a draining spigot on the bottom front with the tank interior molded in an inverted pyramid for effective drainage.

No real surprise that these would be the standard deWulf liquid shipping system, standardized on the deWulf pallet standard of 90 x 90 cm (which for reference, is similar to a modern ISO standard used for drink transport, but smaller than the vastly more common 101.6 x 121.9 cm or 40 x 48 inch).

Boring, not terribly inventive, but something that is fundamental to freight.

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