Containers in Cyberspace

Dec. 1, 2000
Associations Fill Web Sites with Data The tank container industry includes four associations with web sites filled with information pertaining to various

Associations Fill Web Sites with Data The tank container industry includes four associations with web sites filled with information pertaining to various needs. The organizations have posted manuals and documents that can be downloaded, as well as general information about the associations themselves.

All have made an effort to present data that will be useful to its members in day-to-day operations. The International Tank Container Organization (ITCO), Brussels, Belgium, has completed a reorganization that introduces a new Internet web site and e-mail address to enhance communication with its members. Among other things, the web site is available for questions and membership applications, according to Willy Freson, association secretary.

ITCO is an international trade association that promotes the interest of the tank container industry.

A tank container inspection manual has been posted on the site with the purpose of encouraging a basic minimum tank condition throughout the industry. The ACC button at the top of the page leads to the information.

Included in the manual are discussions on confined space entry, industry definitions, container cleanliness, frames, walkways and ladder assemblies, paint, insulation and cladding, manway assemble, safety relief valves, top valves, pressure vessel or tank shell or barrel, bottom valves, and heating. Testing is discussed.

In addition to the e-mail address posted on the web site, [email protected], the association can also be contacted by telephoning Freson in Brussels at 32-2-672-0626 or faxing to 32-2-662-1108. If statistics about the tank container industry are what you are looking for, visit the site for the South African Tank Container Association (SATCA), Rivonia, South Africa.

International market demand and tank production data each command a page that includes bar graphs depicting statistics from 1988 through 1997. Market demand information is collected individually from South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, other European countries, the Americas, and Asia. There are comments about projected growth in the chemical industry and other market-affecting projections.

Tank production industrywide is tracked 1987 through 1997 in units of thousands. An analysis is presented of the steady increase in the use of tank containers.

Another analysis discusses tank investments. Six South African investment management companies, all of whom were founding members of the association, act as principals in tank container investment transactions. Through banks, investment brokers, and other financial institutions, investors may purchase tank containers or share in syndicates, according to the site information.

Membership in SATCA is drawn from manufacturing as well as the management sectors. The association was founded in September 1998 as a self-regulatory body for South Africa's tank container industry.

For more information about the association, e-mail to [email protected], or telephone 27-11-803-5610, or fax to 27-11-803-2011. The Tank Container Association (TCA), Houston, Texas, has relaunched its web site and filled it with information about the safe use of tank containers and other relevant information of interest to the industry.

Of special note is the download availability of the tank container repair guidelines and definitions developed by the association. The 80-plus-page document is easily obtained through AdobeAcrobat Reader, which is available on the site.

The repair section includes inspection hazards and procedures and safe inspection practices. The latter includes information on frames, tank barrels, liquid-tank barrel accessories, gas-tank barrel accessories, corrosion, clading and insulation, and markings.

The definition section has entries that cover the terms used in the industry and as applied in the repair guidelines.

TCA promotes safety and information, as well as representing its members at regulatory levels. The site index includes TCA organizational information, news of current and coming events, and provides direct access to the organization through e-mail.

Established in 1994, TCA membership is open to anyone affiliated with the industry worldwide. Voting memberships are categorized into industry segments (carriers, depots, lessors, manufacturers, shippers, and surveyors). Each member has one vote in its industry segment, and each industry segment has one vote in issues before TCA.

The association has organized seven committees: fundraising, Internet, membership, program, regulatory, technical guidelines (a link to the Repair Guidelines and Definitions document is here), and training/education.

Membership fees for the group are $1,000 per annum payable in January and an initial one-time joining fee of $500. Membership is free to members of the press, schools and universities, and regulatory agencies. The joining fee is waived for those who sign up via the TCA web site.

In addition to the e-mail contact located on the web site, [email protected], the organization can be contacted in Houston by telephoning (713) 218-0305 or by faxing (713) 218-0317.

www.intermodal.orgThe Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), an industry trade association representing combined interests of the intermodal freight industry, has redesigned its web site.

The association, based in Greenbelt, Maryland, expanded information on programs and projects, member companies, and industry issues.

An intermodal education and research foundation serves the industry by developing and distributing cost effective information about intermodal transportation. The foundation also helps form financial and technical partnerships with communities, governmental agencies, carriers, shippers, and third-party supplies. The web site is scheduled to be updated with a members only section on recommended practices for intermodal equipment maintenance and repair, and other technical subjects.

Members now have the option of online product ordering and meeting registration.

Among the subjects covered on the site are quarterly market activity and rail traffic reports. In addition, a new Intermodal information and source guide can be ordered on CD. The guide contains information about thousands of intermodal customers and decision makers, according to the site.

News pages cover both the association and the industry. The association's history from 1998 to the present is documented in press releases.

The association can be reached by contacting Christina S Casgar, Executive Director at 301-982-3400; Fax: 301-982-4815; or by e-mail at [email protected]. PNV SHORT ON CASH Despite a subscriber base increase of 23% from a year ago, PNV said in its quarterly report filed Nov 14, 2000, it will not meet its capital needs beyond February 2001 without additional financing. The report also said that the company would not meet a $4.9 million interest payment due Nov 15, 2000.

PNV said it could have difficulty obtaining additional debt financing, and that it may be unable to implement certain operational and financial strategies because of the terms of its loans.

PNV reported a first-quarter net loss of $18.2 million, which is slightly lower than the $18.3-million loss posted a year ago. It lost $13 million last quarter and has less than $20 million in cash remaining despite reporting $5.5 million in revenue, according to the quarterly report.

Meanwhile, company director Bob May announced that Casey Gunnell has been named chief operating officer, a job he will hold along in conjunction with his chief financial officer position. Gunnell replaces Jeff Hendrickson, who recently resigned from the company. PNV ANNOUNCES ALLIANCE WITH AMERICA ONLINE PNV Inc, provider of bundled telecommunications, Internet access, cable television, and industry content to truck drivers at truck stops, has announced an alliance with America Online, Inc under which PNV's content and services for the trucking and logistics industry will be available across several AOL brands.

Under the two-year, multimillion-dollar agreement, PNV will be the main content provider for the Trucking Professionals area of AOL's WorkPlace Channel.

KEANE TO DEVELOP TRANSLINK E-business and information technology consulting firm Keane Inc has been commissioned by Optimum Logistics Ltd to develop an open Internet-based logistics system for bulk carriers.

The new system, called TransLink, will electronically arrange, optimize, and monitor all stages of the bulk material supply chain by incorporating information from every party that touches a shipment - from producers to transportation and storage providers, from freight forwarders to surveyors.

MENTION MBT LINK When you contact companies about their new products found in this Interchange section, please mention Modern Bulk Transporter as the source.

About the Author

Mary Davis