what is iso tank?

the Iso tank story

A tank container with ISO standard


What is an ISO Tank?

An ISO Tank is a tank container which is built to the ISO standard (International Organisation for Standardisation). ISO tanks are designed to carry liquids in bulk, both hazardous and non-hazardous.

The tank is made of stainless steel and is surrounded by various types of protective layers. Different skins can be used with an ISO tank depending on the type of bulk cargo it is carrying. It has a manhole on the top along with at least one valve and another valve on the bottom. They are shaped like a cylinder.

Tanks are classified according to the specification of the tank shell and fittings. It is the classification which determines what type of product maybe carried. Although tank containers have a fairly uniform external appearance, the construction materials, linings, and fittings vary.


Advantages of an ISO Tank

ISO tanks are designed to meet specific criteria according to the substance they will be carrying. They are very reliable and can withstand extreme pressure and damage. They are highly unlikely to leak, do not require additional packaging materials for the cargo, can maintain a specific temperature for temperature sensitive cargo and they can be transported by road, rail or boat.


Why ISO Tank?

Because ISO tanks are built according to the ISO standard, it is preferred medium of transport for bulk liquid products. ISO tanks is reusable, recyclable & can be remanufactured, thus it is very environmentally friendly.


  • No contamination of product if the tank is cleaned according to SOP
  • No repair/inspection necessary
  • Retain value


Stainless steel surrounded by an insulation and protective layer


Built to the ISO standard (International Organisation for Standardisation)



Both hazardous and non-hazardous products can be transported in tank containers


Can be loaded and unloaded from the top and the bottom


Environmentally Friendly


The Avantages of ISO Tank


  • Save on purchase of new/reconditioned drums/IBC
  • Save on palletization
  • Reduce labor & handling cost to customers
  • Reduced overall landing cost to end customers


Tank containers are excellent for mid-term storage


  • Significant capacity per shipment advantage over either drums or IBCs
  • Tank vs Drums: 6,960 liters (42%) higher capacity per shipment (saves 1 of every 3 shipments)
  • Tanks vs IBCs: 3,880 liters (20%) higher capacity per shipment (save 1 of every 5 shipments)

Loss of product

  • Drums and IBCs can subject to frequent damage during handling or shipment
  • Residue in drums & IBCs can add up to substantial amounts very quickly


  • Stainless steel tanks cleaned, and certified as clean prior to each load
  • Drums/IBCs not cleanable


  • Load/off-load is quick and fast
  • Reduced need for manpower


  • Reduced risk of injuries from product spillage and/or vapors
  • Tanks specifically designed to contain hazardous products

  • Pressure/vacuum relief valves
  • Insulation
  • Thick shell


Potential Pitfalls of ISO Tank

Lack of tank handling expertise can lead to damages, loss of product, contamination & accidents

Loading tank container over 95% can lead to leakage

Shipper-owned ISO tank containers with hazardous chemicals first to be shut out (in full-ship scenario)

Shipper and consignees resistance to change


Parts of ISO Tank

Safety relief valve

A pressure (or sometimes a combination pressure/vacuum) relief valve is fitted to every tank to protect the tank against excessive over pressure or vacuum

Flame Traps

A metal gauze that is fitted over the SRV(s) when carrying flammable products. It permits to be expelled but prevents flashback.


ISO dimensioned frames are typically fabricated from high tensile carbon stell and comply with ISO dimensions.


The outer surface around the shell that protects the insulation from water. Usually made from GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) or aluminum.

Data/csc plates

Shows many details of the tank container including current test data, the manufacturer and the permitted weight/capacity.

Document Holder

A sealed tube fitted to the frame of the tank for carriage of pertinent documents like COA (certificate of analysis), cleaning certificate, etc.

Earth/Ground Lug

A connection for grounding or earthing the tank during loading/unloading. Dissipates static electricity.

Heating System

E-WAY tanks are fitted with efficient steam heating systems making the tanks useful for heat sensitive products.


Located on the top of the tank and is used to enter the tank for internal inspection (please be cognizant of confined space entry regulations).


Ladder and top walkways, for an easy and safe access to the top of ISO Tank.

Temperature Gauge

Is fitted to the rear of the tank giving and indicative reading of the temperature of the product.

Tank Number

Every container is identified by its unique 4 alpha and 6 numerical number. The check digit (7th number) is derived from a formula using the tank number.

Bottom Valve Arrangement

Typically tank containers have 3 closures for maximum protection of product leakage. All E-WAY tanks are pressure tested before loading to ensure no leaks and all valves are operational.

Air Inlet Valve

Fitted to the top of tank and used as a pressure device during unloading and recovery device during loading.

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