Posted on 10 June 2020

Tank container testing: quality and safety assured for every shipment

To make sure the condition and safety of your valuable cargo is never compromised, we regularly carry out inspection, testing, cleaning and maintenance of all our tank containers. 

In addition to mandatory IMDG 2½-year and 5-year tests, we also perform a leak test (pneumatic) as part of the ACC (Acceptable Container Condition) inspection between each load so that every tank container is fully fit-for-purpose before receiving its next cargo.

Our thorough and ahead-of-time attention to cleanliness, integrity and safety guarantees reliable quality for every one of our 40,000 tank containers. 

Between-use inspection, testing, cleaning and maintenance

In accordance with ITCO ACC guidelines, Stolt Tank Containers makes use of our own, and third party depot services to carry out the following procedures between every tank container use: 

- EIR (Equipment Interchange Receipt): a detailed external inspection of the tank container to identify and document its condition, including any damage, at handover to the depot.

- Cleaning: removal of residue from the last cargo. Generally carried out by pressure washing the inside with hot water and detergent. 

- Leak Test: the tank shell is subjected to a 1 bar pneumatic pressure test, and the joints and fittings are soap tested to confirm integrity.

- M&R (maintenance and repair): repair or replacement of any damaged parts.

Regulatory periodic inspections

All our tank containers undergo mandatory 5-year and 2½-year periodic tests specified in the IMDG code. These tests, which are overseen by an independent surveyor, include internal and external examinations, along with pressure-testing the shell, steam tube and safety relief valves to verify these are leak free. 

The 5-year inspection involves hydrostatic testing of the shell and the heating system, while the intermediate 2½-year inspection entails pneumatic testing. 

In addition to issuing a testing certificate, confirmation of satisfactory testing is hard-stamped onto each tank’s data plate.

Always one step ahead for safety

While the IMDG code allows tank containers that are already loaded before certification expiry to be transported for up to three months beyond their expiry date, Stolt Tank Containers avoids post-expiry usage by flagging tanks for testing 90 days before their testing due date.. This means our tank containers are routinely removed from service and put into testing ahead of certification expiry, ensuring an even higher safety standard than mandated by the IMDG. 

Depot technical worker inspecting a tank container


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