Transporting bitumen using drums as a packaging option is a very common method in the industry. The drums are made of varying thicknesses of rolled steel and are filled individually using specialised nozzles. Bitumen drums are most suitable for small-scale deliveries to locations that are difficult to access, generally being moved in a 20ft dry box container. They are, however, less effective for larger bulk deliveries.
TEC’s 20ft Shipper Bitutainer™ is designed for the transport of bitumen, bitumen emulsions and PMBs, acting as a suitable upgrade to bitumen drum operations. Unlike bitumen drums, these bitumen containers are best suited for both small and large quantity deliveries, providing a more flexible option for bitumen transport. The in-built heating systems ensure the bitumen is heated to a suitable temperature for efficient product discharge, whilst providing another level of simplicity to transport logistics compared to drums.
Benefits of using Bitutainers™ over drums for bitumen transport
Drums are transported in standard shipping containers, resulting in a maximum of 18t being loaded into one 20ft drybox.
The BitutainerTM, on the other hand, has a carrying capacity that is 40% greater per shipping slot, decreasing the transport cost per ton and improving efficiency.
Due to inefficiencies with drum melters and crushers, around 3-5% of bitumen is always left in the drum and is wasted during the discharge process.
The Bitutainer™ has various design features to combat any residual bitumen being left inside, including heat dispersing features to reduce cold spots and an internal tank sloped floor for product flow towards the valve.
Heating costs are also higher with drums than with Bitutainers™, as the parcel size being heated at one time is significantly smaller and more laborious.
Bitutainers™ have a double-walled design, ensuring minimal heat loss to the surrounding environment which reduces unnecessary heating expenses. The internal heating tube configuration also ensures high energy transfer directly into the product for faster and more energy efficient heating.
One of the biggest takeaways in the comparison between Bitutainers™ and bitumen drums is operator involvement and safety. Drum melting is a labour-intensive operation, often being loaded one by one or two by two into drum melters with a forklift driver and a support operative. The crushed drums with residual bitumen then need to be removed by hand, creating an incredibly hazardous environment for operators.
The simple to operate Bitutainers™ can be safely heated with minimal operator involvement, particularly when using a TEC Control Panel for unsupervised heating.
Drums are only single use delivery methods, meaning they create a large amount of waste for the operator to dispose of. The fragility of drums also creates concern as many get damaged and dented during lifting and transport increasing the likelihood of spillages.
Over it’s extensive history, the design of BitutainersTM has been developed based on operational feedback to incorporate strategic reinforcement and damage protection. The double walled design also provides protection of the internal tank against damages, minimising the risk of leakages or spillage.
A large number of units are still in operation 20 years+ after manufacture, showing they are a long term reusable asset.
Bitutainers™ are an ideal method of storing and transporting bitumen, with over 20 years of proven results. Their double-walled design and structural support make them crash-safe and easy to operate. They also allow for hold-ups on route with no impact on the internal product, unlike bitumen drums.