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8125 Container Scales 1920x700 Talleys AMALTAL
Global Business

How To Reduce Bulk Shipping Costs

Bison Group

2 Oct 3 Minutes


The Fish Oil Export Industry

Throughout the industrial fishing industry, fish are processed on-board within hours of being caught. Everything is utilized, including fish waste, which is converted into high grade by-products such as fish meal and oil. Discharging fishing vessels and delivering this valuable cargo to market involves careful logistics planning and execution.

As the cost of securing vital fish rises, there is more pressure than ever to reduce costs and unload and export more efficiently.

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Talley's - Amaltal Deepsea

Talley's export quality seafood, meat, dairy and vegetable products. The company's seafood division - Amaltal Deepsea - runs a fleet of deep sea fishing vessels equipped with automated processing facilities. Their fleet fishes throughout the New Zealand EEZ (exclusive economic zone), the icy waters of the Antarctic, and the Western Pacific. It operates year-round, landing quality product for their global customers.

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The Challenge

Like most fish oil processors, Talley’s uses a pump and hose to discharge the oil into 24,000 liter, containerized flexitanks. Talley’s on-shore logistics team faced a constant problem - how to optimize container loads of this liquid cargo?

If the container is overfilled, the flexitank could burst, destroying tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of cargo. But by under-filling the container, Talley’s generates less revenue from the shipment, plus the shipping cost per tonne of payload is higher than it needs to be.

Talley’s tried using flow meters to optimize the load, but found this was inaccurate, with air bubbles and other variables skewing the measurement. This meant Talley’s were forced to guess when the flexitank was full, disconnect the hose, then have the container hauled to the nearest weighbridge to check the weight.

With the gross container weight from the weighbridge, Talley’s would calculate how much capacity was left inside the flexitank. Containers were at times under-filled by more than 2,000 liters. Once weighed, the container would be returned for the team to continue loading and to guess (again) if it was topped up to the right level.

This process cost Talley's time and money, including extra haulage costs, weighbridge fees and man-hours spent coordinating the check-weighing and top up. Check-weighing away from the loading point also caused delays and meant Talley’s sometimes had to choose between knowingly shipping an under-filled container, or missing a shipping cut-off time.

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The Solution

Talley’s were already familiar with Bison Container Scales having adopted them at a number of their meat processing plants for SOLAS VGM compliance. Talley’s logistics team quickly recognized that Container Scales were not just a compliance tool, but an ideal solution for optimizing the weight of containerized flexitanks during loading.

Talley's now employs Bison Container Scales to weigh each container as the flexitank inside is being filled with fish oil. First, Talley's uses Bison Container Scales to weigh the empty container and flexitank before loading, giving Talley’s a precise tare weight and a precise target for optimizing the container payload. Then, with the Container Scales set-up and connected to the Bison VGM App, Talley's weighs the container in real time during loading.

This allows the supervisor to gauge the loading progress and most importantly, identify exactly when the flexitank is full. Not only is this far more accurate than a flow meter, it has eliminated under-filling, and the previous weighbridge trips and fees.

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By adopting Bison Container Scales, Talley’s are now optimizing container loads of fish oil at the point of loading.

Each container shipment is now more profitable. With fish oil sold by weight, revenue is maximized with each shipment and earnings are realized sooner.

  • Talley’s saves at least $20 per container in weighbridge fees per container.
  • Talley's saves the time and distance traveled by their trucks, by not having to visit a weighbridge en-route to port.
  • Haulage and labor costs from check-weighing the container are eliminated.
  • More cargo is shipped using less containers, reducing Talley’s net shipping costs per tonne of cargo by approximately 10%.

All up, a tangible return on a simple investment!

Being portable and trade approved, Talley's also uses Container Scales to weigh container loads of tuna, fish meal and other export fish products. These weights are used for transacting cargo by weight and for SOLAS VGM compliance. The portability of Container Scales means they can easily be moved to different docks where vessels are discharged.

Bison's portable container weighing jacks take the hassle out of weighing containers. By taking the scales to the container, you save time and money by weighing containers at a time and place that works best for you. Bison Container Scales send container data through the VGM App, directly to your computer.