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Important Considerations For Transportation Of Food Grade Tanks

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By Author: Larry Chandler
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Over the past 15 years the trucking industry has seen a huge boom in business. Products that were formerly delivered only by train are now shipped in all directions and at all times thanks to big rigs. One benefactor of this growth has been the food service industry. Restaurants, retailers and wholesalers can now get food delivered to them thanks to the use of food grade tanks. However, it is not as simple as loading a pallet of dry goods on the back of a trailer. There are a few considerations that truckers must watch in order to be in compliance with the law and keep their customers happy.

Can anything be shipped in food grade tanks?

These specialized tanks are to be marked “food grade” and are allowed to only ship out food items. This can also include potable water. But non-food items are never allowed.

What laws have to be followed?

Transportation companies must follow the laws set by the federal government not only for operating a vehicle on the road but also specific rules for transporting food. In addition, many states ...
... have certain requirements as well for any vehicle traveling on their roadways. It is important to be familiar with the laws based on the states that you plan to travel through.

What is considered liquid type food?

This is one of the most common questions people ask when the topic of food grade tanks pops up. It may be surprising to find that there are literally dozens of items that can be transported as liquid food. Here are just a few examples:
Pasteurized items like milk and cream

Alcohol like rum and vodka

Chocolate that has milk or sugar added to it

Corn oil

Fruit juice, such as orange juice

Peanut oil

Food preservatives


Vegetable Oils

What are the cleaning requirements for food grade tanks?

There are no specific requirements for cleaning food grade tanks. However, the type of liquid food that is transported in the tanks has certain health and cleanliness requirements that must be met. For instance, transporting bulk milk has a set of guidelines that are different than transporting vegetable oil. Transportation companies are responsible for understanding and adhering to the proper rules and regulations for the materials that they are shipping.

What about weight limits?

Most states impose similar weight limits for shipping products. However, all liquid food products do not weigh the same. A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds but a gallon of milk can fluctuate due to the amount of fat. One gallon of whole milk may weigh 8.8 pounds while a lean fat version gallon of milk may weigh 8.5 pounds. Transporters will need to get accustomed to these differences and be sure that their trucks are within the allowed limits before sending drivers out on a delivery.

Like most industries, the shipping industry has a few rules and regulations that must be followed by all participants to ensure safety of the companies and customers. Getting familiar with these rules will help owners of food grade tanks to have an easier time conducting their business.

Larry Chandler is a freelance writer for Matlack Leasing a provider of ISO tank containers and food grade tanks. Check out their site to see their custom tanks at Matlackleasing.com.

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