Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
May 24, 2024

 Having a skilled workforce in different departments of an organization is crucial esp in the tank operator business.

Volatile market conditions, strategically positioning equipment, optimizing routes, minimizing turnaround times, and handling numerous others are just a few critical factors.

As leaders, It’s important to have the necessary skills and resources to steer through obstacles.

3 areas are vital for the success of any tank operating company: Finance, Operations, and Analytics. Let’s understand why :

1. Finance - Entrepreneurs, especially in early stages, treat finance as an accounting activity. It could be costly for growing businesses as it ignores changing cash demands, strategic initiatives, ability to innovate and adapt to market conditions.

Strong financial capability allows prudent planning of growth and diversification. It fuels strategic initiatives, drives operational efficiency, and determines long-term organizational sustainability, and success.

2. Operations - If finance is the backbone, then operations are the muscle. It keeps things running smoothly. Engage the team in analysis and problem-solving. This helps identify issues and increase productivity.

Set clear targets for reducing errors and improving speed. With multiple daily shipments, precise entries are crucial. Use performance incentives to motivate the team. Train the team to work together cohesively, especially when new members join. Each person handles different shipment stages. They all contribute to the company's growth.

3. Analytics - For tank operators, the priority is to keep tanks moving, as idle inventory means lost money. While reducing turnaround times, the market requires caution about chosen routes, which is where the analytics team comes in.

The team must be proactive in suggestions, calculations, and strategies for optimal inventory positioning. Adaptability is essential here, as strategies become obsolete quickly.

Optimizing the flow of your business heavily relies on strong Finance, Operations, and Analytics teams.

Empowering employees, setting clear targets, and fostering collaboration across departments quips the workforce to tackle the ISO tank industry.


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May 24, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
May 21, 2024

For an ISO tank business looking to expand globally, a strong HR function is crucial to its growth.

They aim to support all teams, align them with the company’s objectives, and help them feel secure, adapt, and excel. No matter the geography.

Here are some functions that HR teams must leverage to empower a global workforce :

1. Retaining employees and avoiding attrition

The ISO tank industry needs specialized skills. HR finds them - from maintenance to logistics people. Finding the right ones is the first step. They help retain talent by offering compensation, upscaling skills, and growth in a respectful environment.

2. Ensuring smooth operations

HR keeps everyone aligned through communication and they tackle problems early. HR develops employees' skills through training, leading to competence and satisfaction benefitting clients

3. Navigating legal complexities

Labor laws are tricky. An HR guides, ensuring compliance with labor laws to avoid legal issues. They conduct regular checks for smooth operations as per the country’s laws. Policies must comply with the laws of countries with company offices. Discrepancies are dealt with strictly per law.

4. Managing risks

HR goes beyond following the rules. They manage risks, secure data, build diverse and inclusive teams, and identify potential problems. They also use data-protecting software and conduct staff awareness sessions. Employment contracts with non-compete and non-solicitation clauses protect company data and resources.

5. POSH policy (prevention of sexual harassment)

Since 2013, Indian companies must provide POSH training and establish an ICC to handle complaints. The ICC should be headed by a woman, including an external member from an NGO committed to women's causes or familiar with the issue, and at least 50% female members. Employees must adhere to these for a safe workplace.

Ultimately, HR is not only paperwork and policies. They’re the human connection that fuels the business and builds a high-performing and motivated team to run and manage the company and drive its growth.

When you invest in HR, you invest in your most valuable asset - your people.

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May 21, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 28, 2024

 In the service industry, you are only as good as your team.

For a great company, surround yourself with good individuals who excel in leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and customer service.

People are your most valuable assets. Your first steps include :

1. Recruiting the right talent

2. Equipping them with tools and resources

3. Empowering them to take initiatives

4. Motivating them to perform their best

5. Incentivizing them to stay committed.

Identify the ones who significantly contribute to your company's growth. Value them as integral parts of the company’s success.

These principles sound simple, but executing them is easier said than done. This challenge is why some succeed while others struggle.

Function-wise, many businesses focus on sales, operations, and marketing. But, finance is often overlooked.

Finance is the backbone of any enterprise. The sooner this is recognized, the better it will reflect on the company’s health.

For tank operators, with challenges like :

- Unpredictable market conditions

- Strategically positioning equipment

- Optimizing routes

- Reducing turnaround times

- Juggling numerous other critical parameters

The industry is always in choppy waters. It's always challenging.

As the captain of the ship, make sure you're able to steer clear of obstacles and dock safely. 

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April 28, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Leading in the ISO Tank industry.

A few top logistics leaders stand out. They move the industry forward, not just through expertise, but through ethical and compassionate leadership. They lead like the best pioneers.

After 2+ decades in this industry, here are 5 attributes I’ve seen set leaders apart :

1, Building teams by fitting people's strengths together - they carefully choose people who excel at roles that leverage what everyone contributes. Skills should complement, not compete. It’s understood this takes time and patience but also that it is worth it.

2. Instead of vague growth, they define specific targets through a well-designed strategy balancing short-term metrics with longer-term ambition. This includes planned fleet and network expansion supplemented by workforce additions to match projected growth. They lay out clear financial and operational metrics to guide teams.

3. Supporting execution through smart budgeting - growth plans need solid funding to succeed. Before expanding, they accounted for 90% of the costs needed to implement. They cut unnecessary expenses but not critical ones.

4. Managing growth investments and cash flow - Expansion investments are both capital for assets and partners, and current for increased working capital needs. New offices and assets can take months to break even. Thoughtful budgeting and cash flow management are key to fund growth despite temporary inefficiencies and revenue ramp-up periods.

5. Partnering with allies - They always look to join forces with others who excel where one lags which can boost shared opportunities. But they also agree on what success means together first - to prevent future conflicts.

6. Continuously upgrade offers to meet demand - They try not to be specialists but across the board. They consistently evaluate market needs and expand services to meet them for sustainability. They also understand that client input is critical.

Leadership isn't about short-term gains. It's about the positive effects your influence triggers. It’s a framework you build and learn over time and not overnight.

Are there attributes you find important to lead in this industry?

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

A few weeks ago, I shared the gaps in technical knowledge that lead to frequent tank integrity issues. Now, the focus will be on the detailed processes that allow container transfers without incident.

Unlike physical damage, issues with procedures cause problems later by accidentally allowing accidents to happen. Small mistakes in protocols, while harmless, can lead to dangerous system failures.

What 3 small commonly missed steps matter most?

1. Flawed order of valve/man lid closure

Opening multiple outlets without properly resealing them risks leakage and contamination. Yet rushed and uneven bolt tightening after transfers remains common. Product spills are often traced back to this. Sometimes, basic rules like depressurizing tanks before unloading are not followed. This risks the safety of unloading staff. Strictly following required procedures will improve safety a lot. Exceptions should not be made

2. Inadequate loading/unloading supervision

Not monitoring transfers enough means overfills and spills are caught late. Using electronic grounding to discharge dangerous static buildup is also critical. Neglecting either has caused explosions that destroyed facilities. Robust oversight protocols to prevent these accidental chain reactions are essential.

3. Extended piping chokepoints

Using makeshift bottom-discharge/loading lines to speed up transfers seems convenient, but their weight stresses valve fixtures, and gaskets, causing small cracks over time. The seepage containing concentrates goes undetected, leading to pipe ruptures. Visible corrosion often hides systemic neglect of risks. Proper support structures are critical.

At the end of the day, all parties struggle with complex, interconnected procedures. Leadership tries to balance enabling new uses and tightening control.

Training programs and benchmarking against safety-focused industries help greatly. Anonymous incident reporting also helps identify weak points.

Most importantly - creating a culture that comfortably admits oversights, without penalty or blame, is key to self-improvement. This is only achieved by investing in partners to uplift standards, not crack the system.

The supply chain is only as strong as its most neglected part. Any thoughts/ questions?

Please share them in the comments sections

In another 2 weeks, I look forward to sharing one overlooked aspect key to risk mitigation.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Starting a career in the ISO Tank industry.

ISO tanks move hazardous liquids in supply chains with a lot of safety and precaution. Hence the need for deep knowledge and understanding of this area to really thrive.

Apart from regular shipping, some skills let interested professionals make a real impact so understanding the landscape is important.

There are 5 key ISO tank industry areas:

- Tank leasing

- Tank operations

- Tank cleaning & repair depots

- Transport logistics

- Software solution providers

People looking to excel in any of these need to build skills aligned with the role. Here are some basic competencies based on the role :

1. Sales and BD - with hazardous goods being carried, salespeople need to understand product behaviors and chemistry. One needs technical knowledge of ISO tank design, materials, and capacities to tailor solutions.

2. Technical & equipment expertise - whether in operations or leasing, a stronghold of ISO tank structures, and components, understanding which products can be carried, in what condition, and cleaning processes is important.

3. Operational & shipping specialization - Moving hazardous materials has strict rules for all transport types. Following standards, reading chemical data sheets and emergency plans makes operations uniquely complex.

4. Finance & accounting - Though similar to wider logistics, multiple touchpoints in ISO tank transactions need accountants to go beyond regular software. ERP proficiency becomes vital here.

5. Data analytics - Advanced computer and data analysis help immensely in profitability and utilization analysis for better demand planning, route optimization, and overall decision-making.

Succeeding in an ISO tank needs diverse skills beyond typical shipping. To truly excel and sustain long-term, you need to deeply grasp and specialize in technical, operations, sales, and data areas.

This expertise is what sets ISO tank professionals apart.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Industry reports show over $500 million in total losses over the past decade caused by overlooked tank integrity issues.

2 weeks ago I shared reasons behind why knowing technical knowledge helps avoid missed safety problems. Because even small issues can turn into large hazardous incidents when neglected over time.

Here’s part 1, examining tank safety problems that people often don’t notice :

1. Real-world impacts when tanks get damaged

In Nigeria, poorly maintained storage tanks exploded during transport due to cracked welds. In Europe, hair-line cracks in an old tank's valves went unnoticed before shipping. This led to leaks and contamination mid-journey, ruining the whole batch. Some small tanker companies take on risky cargo without warning shippers about special loading needs. These oversights can directly cause disasters.

2. Differing repair quality standards

Large tank operators thoroughly check container history for decades, ensuring continuous protection through systematic fixes as needed. Smaller regional companies rely on informal visual assessments and cost-cutting, risking faster damage from use and age.

3. The risks of being too relaxed about safety

China required more transparency for transporting hazardous goods only after the massive tragedy in Tianjin. Technical changes alone cannot better safety habits. Careless mindsets need to proactively shift.

4. Getting surprised by new regulations

Brazil's gradual electric vehicle rule first troubled large fleet owners. Then it cascaded to smaller companies with limited money, leaving them unable to transition on time.

5. Are safety symbols unimportant?

Faded hazard markings increase the chance of loading the wrong cargo. Yet worn-out signs repeatedly go unseen when tanks exchange hands many times.

6. Short-term savings, long-term accidents

Financially stable companies regularly replace older containers. Meanwhile, cash-strapped operators do makeshift patches. This risks major safety troubles later.

As Part 1 shows, even simple issues lead to mishaps when people don’t focus on core tank safety principles. We need more staff across areas to grasp the key ideas behind safe protocols. 

Stay tuned for part 2 next week, where I’ll share step-by-step processes and safety checks for handling tanks properly.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

At Deccan Transcon Group of Companies, we believe that organizations are most impactful when connections between people go beyond formal roles and hierarchies.

So periodically, our leadership team across functions meets up in person - be it in Indian cities like Hyderabad, or Mumbai or international countries like Thailand, Dubai, Germany, Spain, or USA.

These meetings do more than just review work and make plans. They also strengthen our culture by highlighting that behind our progress are dedicated people who contribute their talents.

The informal sessions promote open conversation that regular calls do not allow. In these sessions, anyone can raise concerns, share ideas, or simply connect over meals and activities.

Yes, the team thoroughly evaluate progress and plan future growth strategies. But the relaxed environment also makes room for personal stories and details that go beyond slides and numbers.

We leave reenergized for the journey – with closer bonds, clearer goals, and tighter team alignment. Our skills grow sharper and our knowledge expands from learning each other's experiences.

At its core, organizations reflect the people who form them. A culture that values each individual's well-being creates the best long-term outcomes.

These in-person meetings are focused on one thing - supporting each other before we continue working at full capacity.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

AN ISO tank transports liquid cargoes of various Haz categories from a shipper to the buyer. After years of interactions, I have observed various exp levels handle tank containers.

This includes various supply chain roles - technicians, safety officers, negotiation staff, documentation executives, and senior management.

They're involved in transport and facilitate carrier-client communication despite lacking technical knowledge or expertise in hazardous materials, esp those in small companies deeply engaged in negotiations.

Their limited understanding directly impacts plans and procedures, with issues addressed only after accidents occur.

To solve this, I’ll be sharing a 5-part series to provide all people in this industry with fundamental technical knowledge.

Basic technical literacy is crucial to anticipate problems, follow procedures, and make informed strategic decisions remotely.

The topics will address protocol gaps including:

- Technical terminology misunderstandings

- Depot staff loading without procedures

- Inspectors certifying equipment without full understanding

- Operators assigning old, uninspected tanks to avoid repairs

Rather than learn from post-accident analyses alone, I will share critical areas using examples and evidence of real-world impacts before issues arise.

With this knowledge, supply chain managers can :

1. Ask better questions

2. Choose safer partners

3. Plan effective contingency measures

Later this month, part 1 will explain tank integrity technical details critical for safety and accident prevention to improve understanding across supply chain roles.

Although these aspects will be basic, explaining them is still needed since related incidents continue. Looking forward to sharing it.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

European counter parts multi-decade dominance in tank container logistics seems impenetrable for Asian companies newly entering their home region.

In 2000, there were only a handful with fleets over 10,000 ISO tanks. By 2010, 5-6 major companies had reached that scale.

But in recent years, some Asian operators have been able to establish their footprints in Europe. Here are some key success factors:

1. After consolidating their position in the Intra Asia business, a few of them were able to grow their fleet size and network.

2. This customer base allowed them to pick up shipments from Asia into Europe.

3. As a result, with healthy inventory levels in Europe, good and reliable agents and forwarders started to tie up and partner with them.

4. With substantive European Companies shipping to Asian countries, the Operators from Asia were competitive given certain home advantages at the destination ports.

5. Since 2015, another 2-3 rapidly expanding Asian operators have crossed 15,000 tanks through strategic partnerships and entering new regions.

The growth of Asian tank container companies has been steady but significant.

While still dominated by European players controlling major shares, these challengers have gradually claimed market share thanks to flexibility, localization, and alignment with customer needs.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

With the bulk of ISO tank volumes tied to big customer contracts, large players are set to reap better rewards.

Where does this leave small and mid-sized operators? Because the industry is getting more crowded :

1. Non-contract, on-the-spot volumes still offer potential. But there's more competition as newcomers are always entering the market.

2. For current smaller operators, this rise in volatility reduces growth opportunities and profits. Also, the new operators operate on thin margins.

Have existing collaboration attempts helped? Not much.

Many have tried sharing resources or partnerships. However, these experiments often struggle to survive. Without financial commitments, there's fragmentation. Just short-term thinking hurts everyone.

Two possible paths worth considering:

1. Cross-continent partnerships with combined fleets can improve scale and synergy. Equity commitments can strengthen credibility.

2. Building global marketing and operating organically, although capital-intensive, makes you resilient. Investor options open up too.

Ultimately, the choices for smaller operators are less. As larger players tighten their grip over volumes, we need more creative solutions.

Working alone may not work anymore. Joining hands with others seems the strongest way forward.

Happy to chat about long-term collaborations. Please drop me a message.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Stepping into 2024, there’s an air of cautious optimism for the tank container industry grounded in wider economic positivity.

Predictions show increased manufacturing activity and global chemical shipments this year - welcome news after recent volatility. Macro indicators seem to point towards steadier times ahead :

- The west expects around 3% growth.

- India is projected to grow at 7%.

- Global estimates between 1-3%.

This is a strong signal for global trade flows.

But the last few years show seismic events can quickly throw projections off track. And, we’ve already had a taste of this recently :

1. Shipping routes were disrupted again as an important sea trade route faced issues - the Red Sea corridor - due to regional instability.

2. Vessels are now rerouted, and delivery timelines have been extended by 2-3 weeks more while fuel and charter costs also increasing.

Despite this, there are many opportunities ahead but also possible challenges.

As operators, it calls for staying agile, building contingency plans, and doubling down on what’s in our control. The path for growth looks clear but there are still rough spots ahead.

Let's hope all involved make better choices in the coming months to achieve widespread success.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

As 2023 ended, here are some of my top observations from an ISO tank operator POV :

1. The year started well as 2022’s momentum spilled into Q1. Yields and tank utilization looked decent to begin with.

2. But global affairs (Ukraine War, Sanctions, economic downturns, etc.) soon triggered a domino effect – production cuts, and shrinking demand in Europe. ISO tank inflows into the region dried up as sanitized Russian supply chains disabled key doors.

3. European depots filled with idle ISO tank capacity even as storage costs increased. Operators diverted equipment out of Europe, leading to increased competition and falling rates in high-volume trades like Asia-Indian Subcon-MENA and Intra-Asia

4. Inbounds into China, also contracted after years of growth. Overall a turbulent year for small and mid-sized tank operators relying on spot markets rather than long-term contracts.

The silver lining?

By Q4, there were signs of stabilization – yields and utilization improved slightly month-on-month.

The big challenge ahead?

For mid-sized tank container firms especially, 2023 emphasized the need for resilience through collaboration.

Pooling assets, expertise, and networks with others can help smaller and mid-sized operators withstand market turbulence. Some partnerships I trust are worth exploring:

- Co-bidding on contracts to have skin in the game across geographies

- Facilitating access to vetted, reliable partners across operating regions

- Offering combined capacity commitment to contracts out of reach for individual players

- Leveraging combined volumes to negotiate better freight rates and favorable terms with vendors

Essentially, cooperation models make the growth journey better in times of uncertainty.

For Deccan Transcon Group of Companies, the frame of mind is turning more cautiously optimistic for 2024 despite occasional speedbumps. It’s important to remember - Alone we shrink, together we grow.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

I’ve seen many aspiring tank operators hit walls at small fleets, struggling to sustain expansion. Reasons behind it :

1. Regional risks leave them vulnerable. For example, high dependence on few geographical areas or narrow customer segments.

2. Chemicals are commodities manufactured across continents. Supply sources swing based on pricing. Small operators may fall short because of their limited coverage

3. Larger players mitigate volatility via global diversification across regions to meet the demands of the supply chain.

If demand dips in one area, the larger players with their wider networks quickly reshape flows by tapping opportunities. This results in smaller firms concentrated in single regions facing a downturn in volumes and revenues.

Established leaders carefully built up their technical skills, assets, and networks over decades to smoothly customize services. This earns loyalty and trust.

It’s difficult for newcomers to replicate this agility quickly. In tank container shipping, longevity and scale enable adaptation when fluctuating cycles swing.

Lasting success relies on patiently constructing sturdy foundations using the blueprint laid out by organizations focused on the long game - slowly but surely

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Even after 25+ years, the tank container industry still sees a stark divide - European companies lead global tank container logistics while Asian players struggle to scale. Why?

Europe's early moves in cementing partnerships, networks, and financing set the foundation. Leading operators leveraged these platforms, steadily:

1. Accumulating technical skills and assets

2. Expanding into diverse worldwide regions

3. Forging ties across the value chain

It's difficult for newcomers to replicate the expertise and stability built over decades.

Chemical manufacturing saw a major shift from the West into East Asian countries like China, Korea, and India in the late 90’s. As capacities and volumes increased steadily, European operators moved quickly to fill emerging supply chain needs.

With this, the intra-Asia trade for chemicals started to build up which saw consistent expansion of business and volumes.

The Asian operators who latched on to this quickly tasted success. However many of them found it challenging to expand into the deep sea sectors of Europe and the Americas.

In recent times some Asian operators have ventured into Europe, establishing offices, and building strengths and capabilities.

A select few even participate in large MNC tenders, possibly paving a path for other Asian tank container companies.

Ultimately, those who balance growth strategy, patience, risk management, and service integrity tend to emerge stronger in the long run.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

The tank container sector has seen major operators succeed as well as smaller players struggle.

Industry leaders have grown substantially over decades. Their strategies fueled growth:

- Building versatile, modern fleets matched to demand

- Investing in depot infrastructure and maintenance

- Leveraging scale for cost advantages

- Delivering exceptional service and reliability

In contrast, new entrants often fail to gain traction and eventually exit the market. Challenges they face include:

- Building a customer base and relationships

- Managing assets and utilization

- Achieving margins with a smaller scale

Succeeding in tank container operations requires mastering complex logistics, shrewd asset management, and customer service excellence.

The most successful players have patiently built world-class capabilities tailored to this unique sector over 30+ years. Their deep expertise creates formidable barriers to entry.

But, there are secrets to success in this industry. They’re the reasons why one thrives and others struggle.

 Many new entrants have struggled to succeed in the specialized tank container sector. Why?

After 25+ years in the business, I've found success comes down to reach and relationships - the power of your network.

Some operators fail because they cannot expand fleet size beyond a few hundred tanks. This limited scale leaves them vulnerable.

Others stumble because they lack a network of reliable agents and partners to build reach and also struggle with identifying who can promote the operator's business in that country.

Very often they end up working with agents who promise but do not deliver. To thrive, an operator must:

1. Build relationships with customers

2. Develop connections with a wider base of reputable, vetted partners worldwide

This takes time and dedicated effort. A strong network opens access to business opportunities and generates crucial operational know-how. The most successful players have:

1. Patiently grown their fleet size

2. Broadened their partner network over decades

This helps them deliver reliability that keeps customers coming back. Ultimately to ensure profitability, operators need to:

1. Reach sufficient scale

2. Increase fleet size

3. Cover wider regions in their network

That allows them to increase the share of business of existing customers and add new customers to the portfolio

There are no shortcuts.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

The bulk liquid logistics landscape has changed very little over the decades. Safety improved, but the fundamentals stayed the same.

Let’s compare it to the apparel industry's supply chain revolution.

Remember when clothes took months to ship across oceans? Today, online retailers can promise delivery in days without blinking.

What changed?

- New tech smoothed handoffs between suppliers, transporters, and warehouses.

- Inventory buffers sped up restocking.

The apparel supply chain went from rigid to agile almost overnight. Consumer expectations completely reset.

Yet bulk liquid logistics operates much like it always has. We standardized early but got complacent. Stuck in the past.

Truth is, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. There are tons of chances to improve our customers’ experience.

But it will take open minds and fresh thinking - a willingness to challenge the status quo.

Overall, I see a lot of potential for innovation and ideas that could reshape our industry.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

It’s been 50+ years since the Global emergence of tank containers transformed supply chains for bulk liquid transport.

Engineers introduced innovative ISO tank designs that offered major advantages over drums or other conventional shipping methods.

After a 25+ year career so far, We have witnessed first-hand the growth of tank container logistics

Tank containers revolutionized efficiency and safety by:

- Replacing drums

- Minimizing residue

- Labor-intensive loading/ unloading

New tank designs also enabled lighter structures and higher payloads.

Still, the fundamentals remain unchanged. Incremental innovation yes, but no major disruption.

Significant supply chain integration and efficiency improvements have yet to materialize. Both a challenge and an opportunity.

There’s much work left to unlock the full potential of tank container logistics. Excited for the journey ahead.

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

Why are ISO tanks often considered more sustainable than other forms of bulk transportation?

They are designed to be reused many times over their lifespan. ISO tanks are made from durable materials such as stainless steel, which can withstand rough handling, extreme temperatures, and corrosive materials.

Furthermore, because ISO tanks are standardized in size and shape, they can be easily transported via multiple modes of transportation, including ships, trains, and trucks, reducing the need for handling and transfer of goods between different types of containers. This reduces the risk of product contamination and waste.

Finally, because ISO tanks can be cleaned and maintained easily, they are more hygienic and safe for transporting various goods, including food and hazardous materials. This reduces the environmental impact of transportation, as well as the risk of product contamination and waste.

Do you need to transport hazardous cargo and require our expertise with ISO tanks? We provide services to over 50 countries, and counting!

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 18, 2024

The ISO tank industry thrives on secure and efficient transportation of bulk liquids and gasses worldwide.

While standardized containers ensure seamless movement, managing the human aspect of this global operation is where the real challenge lies.

Apart from hiring the right people, building a strong, diverse, and motivated workforce is important while creating a culture of growth and collaboration.

The ISO tank industry deals with various cultures, languages, and legal systems. Aligning IHRM strategies with a company's global goals becomes crucial. This requires:

1. Staying updated on labor laws, regulations, and cultural norms in each country

2. Hiring talent with expertise in new markets and providing relevant training

3. Creating an inclusive work environment that celebrates diversity

Cultivating a world-class workforce needs to be a top priority and starts with :

- Investing heavily in training and development programs

- Ensuring employees have the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles.

- Creating a culture of open communication and collaboration

- Encouraging teams to share ideas and work together towards common goals

- Training in IMDG code which is crucial for safely handling hazardous/non-hazardous cargo when transporting chemicals to prevent collateral damage.

This is the first step. To succeed companies must also focus on retention.

This includes providing opportunities for growth and advancement, recognizing and rewarding top performers, and creating a work environment that values employee well-being.

It’s important to keep them engaged and motivated long-term because the company's workforce is its greatest asset.

Invest in people, and create a culture that values diversity, inclusion, and excellence. This can build a significant competitive advantage in the ISO tank industry.

Any strategies you found effective for building and retaining a strong workforce?

...see more
April 18, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 12, 2024

Should mergers and acquisitions be a part of the growth strategy in the ISO tank sector?

M&As are an integral part of the shipping community industry specially in the box container space. It has picked up in recent years in the ISO tank operator community, with large companies mostly acquiring smaller/ medium ones.

However, deals between similar-sized or medium-sized companies are not common.

Growth is primarily organic, driven by fleet expansion, network growth, and customer base development. Smaller and medium-sized players are usually regional, operating close to their home base.

What if a medium-sized operator in Asia could merge with a similar-sized operator in Europe? This could be a faster, more assured path to growth.

A European player may struggle to replicate an Asian operator's market knowledge and access, despite business potential. Joining hands unlocks value for both.

Of course, this is easier said than done. They require aligning vision, values, and objectives beyond financial metrics. For operators, it's an area worth exploring.

Another approach for smaller operators is to position themselves as attractive acquisition targets. It begins with building intrinsic value to catch the eye of larger corporations seeking inorganic growth.

In ISO tanks, company size is defined by fleet count rather than revenue:

- Small: Under 1,000 tanks
- Medium: 1,000 to 5,000 tanks
- Medium-Large: 5,000 to 12,000 tanks
- Large: Over 12,000 tanks

Operational efficiency, customer relationships, and market positioning are important for small/ medium players who want to be acquired.

A solid foundation makes the company a compelling buy for larger operators looking to expand their footprint. Another area worth exploring.

Do you see M&As as a viable growth lever for small and medium-sized players?

...see more
April 12, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
April 4, 2024

Top factors to consider when choosing the right ISO Tank partner for your business.

As an operator, growth depends on two key components:

1. Increasing fleet size
2. Effectively deploying that additional capacity

Building deployment capability requires increasing volumes in existing regions and expanding into new geographies.

ISO tanks are specialized equipment, and finding the right partner in each target area is critical. They impact customer relations, container delivery, depot selection,  and optimal tank utilization.

Some pitfalls for smaller companies:

- Low volumes make it tough to attract established partners and agents

- Settling for inexperienced partners leads to tanks sitting idle, incurring storage costs, and struggling to ship back

Choosing the right partner depends on your team's ability to build relationships with partners who deliver. A measured approach is important - do not rush into untested partnerships based on big promises only.

The challenge - top agents work with multiple operators, prioritizing larger players. To make the list, work towards relationships that align interests.

Ultimately, fleet expansion is an investment. Without strong deployment capabilities, you risk burning money instead of generating returns.

The solution - spread your network wide early, but strategically. Leverage prior market knowledge and existing partner relationships to scale reliably.

At Deccan Transcon Group of Companies, we learned these lessons and also continuously refined our approach.

If you're seeking a partner with the expertise to drive your ISO tank business forward, reach out to us at sales@deccantrans.com to explore collaboration opportunities.

...see more
April 4, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
March 28, 2024

Safety and sustainability in the chemical supply chain. What role should we play?

Chemical companies can make an even bigger impact through practices that benefit all involved in the supply chain thus contributing to environmental safety.

Manufacturers are in the best position to lead education and training initiatives to promote it. They have the expertise and resources to drive positive change.

Here are examples of how some companies are currently doing it :

1. They’re funding safety training and equipment for local responders to improve community preparedness.

2. They’re going beyond regulations to pioneer practices like green technologies that minimize environmental impacts.

3. The collaborative R&D on safer chemicals and processes is benefitting the whole industry through major innovations.

These interventions help companies :

- Strengthen their reputation and brand image.
- Attract and retain top talent
- Foster a culture of innovation and collaboration

The movement of these chemicals is crucial to a manufacturer's supply chain, often involving third-party logistics providers for transportation, storage, and shipping.

Any vendor's negligence can harm the manufacturer's reputation, undoing their efforts to maintain high safety standards within the factory.

In addition, shippers should audit tank operators and depots for compliance, and invest in partners prioritizing safety and sustainability for long-term success of the chemical supply chain.

To ensure alignment with the manufacturer's safety and sustainability objectives, logistics partners should be incorporated into the company's ecosystem, focusing on providing training to their vendors and partners.

These are not just feel-good initiatives; they are strategic investments in the future of the chemical industry. True progress in safety and sustainability requires a collective effort.

This concludes the series that covered various aspects of ISO tanks industry. I would be happy to continue sharing my learnings with the ISO tank community. Please share any topics you would like me to cover.

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March 28, 2024
Jaidev Menon
Director @ Deccan Transcon
March 21, 2024

Learning tank handling procedures is half the challenge. The real difficulty is keeping pace with changing rules about tank usage.

Agencies issue and change tank rules often. Updates occur faster than companies can implement. Keeping up with standards is challenging, especially for office personnel handling documentation and compliance.

You need to know the differences between:

- Legally enforceable regulations
- Voluntary guidelines
- Operational recommendations
- Manufacturer specifications

1. The role of MSDS - For office personnel, the challenge is interpreting complex documents to ensure safe transportation. The MSDS is critical and provides product information. It offers composition, hazard identification, handling procedures, emergency responses, and UN numbers and regulations.

The interpretation matters because it ensures correct documentation, helps maintain compliance and minimizes risks. This makes it crucial to ensure safe transport and for ISO tank regulations to be followed.

2. The role of IMDG Code - IMDG Code is essential for selecting suitable ISO tanks. It’s a global benchmark for dangerous goods transportation by sea, addresses hazardous materials transport within tanks and classifies materials, and outlines regulations for packaging, labeling, stowage, segregation.

But some countries have stricter regulations or additional customs rules. Variations exist between IMDG Code and European ADR/AND/RID/ and US DOT. Applying only local regulations may lead to shortcomings for sea shipment under IMDG Code and vice versa.

Unfortunately, many in ISO tank supply chain, lack proper training in interpreting the IMDG Code despite IMDG Code 1.3.1 requiring it for shore side staff processing documents, refreshed every 2 years. This also leads to misinterpretations, improper tank selection, and non-compliance with regulations.

Proper training bridges this gap. It equips both office staff and operators with the skills to interpret regulations, identify suitable tanks and ensure safe handling

But, importantly, training also creates a proactive safety culture by helping personnel understand the "why" behind regulations, ultimately preventing accidents and reducing costs associated with non-compliance.

Are you facing similar challenges in ISO tank regulations?

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March 21, 2024
• Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited • Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited • Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited
• Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited • Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited • Deccan Transcon Leasing Pvt Ltd will now be known as Deccan Transcon Leasing Limited