The Role of Transport in the Queensland Water Tank Supply Chain
Australian water tanks come in a large range of sizes from 200 litres to 50,000 litres. Small and large water tanks pose very different problems for both the tank manufacturers and their customers. This article sets out the different challenges faced in the delivery of both small round and slimline tanks compared with the issues involved in delivering larger tanks.
Small tanks sold into urban environments are often delivered by the tank
manufacturers through couriers, in much the same way as parcels are delivered.
The courier company picks up the tank from the manufacturer and delivers it to
the customer. The tanks are generally less than 5000 litres in capacity and
usually weigh no more than 100-120 kgs. They are easily moved by one or two
people, and apart from this the delivery usually only requires the customer to
be there to sign for the tank.
Transport plays a vital role in ensuring these tanks are delivered on time and to the customers’ satisfaction. While this is sometimes adversely affected by traffic in larger cities, the logistics of urban tank delivery are relatively simple compared to the challenges faced by manufacturers of larger tanks used in commercial, industrial and rural applications. For example, the manufacturers of large tanks in Queensland are confronted with a 48 page Queensland Government publication which contains the guidelines for the delivery of all oversized loads. Tanks which when placed on the truck or trailer are more than 3.5 metres wide or 2.4 metres high including the height of the truck or trailer’s tray fall under the oversized load regulations.
Large tanks are generally transported on their sides and so often tanks larger
than 25,000 litres will be caught under these regulations. Tank manufacturers
who deliver large tanks like these are required to have an annual permit from
Queensland police. They are also required to obtain a permit from either Ergon
or Energex for each load dispatched. This permit clears the load to travel under
the electricity providers’ power lines. As large tank manufacturers often
deliver up to 600kms from their manufacturing plant, planning is often time
consuming and complex.