Total Connection Blog

Bulk Liquid Tanker Carriers


Getting liquid production materials in bulk is non-negotiable if you’re a manufacturer or a large-scale producer. And that is why you have to pay attention to bulk liquid tanker carriers. They could make or break your business.

Bulk liquid tanker carriers are companies every production plant should have for the transport of their bulk liquid materials. These companies can impact your business by reducing your logistics costs if you partner with the right ones. Otherwise, they could get your business into trouble.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What are Bulk Liquid Tanker Carriers?

Bulk liquid tanker carriers are companies that handle the transport of bulk liquids. They are responsible for the safety and maintenance of the quality of the bulk liquid cargo during transit. 

Usually, bulk liquid tanker carriers are standalone third-party logistics companies because of the scope of the job. In one of such companies, there are a lot of departments. But the most common ones are the sales, finance, and dispatch departments. These departments may, in turn, have their sub-departments that handle more specific responsibilities. 

For manufacturing companies that only need the bulk liquid materials, having the extra burden of transporting and tracking the cargo could be cost-inefficient. This is why many manufacturers prefer to outsource the shipping of their bulk liquids to carriers who haul liquid bulk. 

Without a doubt, this requires a lot of trust on the part of the manufacturers. They get to leave the transport of expensive bulk liquids in the hands of other companies. It then becomes important to understand the responsibilities of bulk liquid tanker carriers and how they may benefit your company.

What Bulk Liquid Tanker Carriers Do

What bulk liquid tanker carriers do vary, depending on the carrier and some other factors. But in general, the basic responsibilities of a bulk liquid tanker carrier are:

Bulk Liquid chemical transport

Safety and Adherence to Road Rules

Proper Equipment Selection

Loading and Unloading Bulk Liquid Tanks

Tank Washing and Proper Product Disposal

Let’s take a closer look at these responsibilities.

Bulk Liquid Chemical Transport

Bulk liquid chemical transport is the first responsibility of any bulk liquid carrier. When the carrier is unable to fulfill this responsibility, it is no longer a carrier. However, it is not enough that a carrier is only able to transport your bulk liquid chemical. The carrier has to be capable of doing it with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. 

Efficiency is important because large-scale production often requires a lot of keeping to time. A slight delay could lead to a ripple of negative consequences for the manufacturing company. 

Maintaining the quality of the bulk liquid freight is also as important as its timely transportation. Some bulk liquids, such as oils and fats, could suffer quality deterioration during transit due to the carelessness of the carriers. So, it is in the best interest of the shipper to only use reliable carriers.

  • Proper Equipment Selection

Once you contact a bulk liquid carrier, you get to discuss the nature of the bulk liquid freight. This helps to make sure that the carrier prepares the proper equipment for the transport. Without the proper equipment, the carrier would be unable to perform this responsibility and some others. 

For instance, some chemicals are temperature sensitive. You have to keep them above a particular temperature during transit to either get them ready for use immediately after unloading or to maintain their quality. Oil is a good example of such a chemical, as it solidifies into fat at low temperatures. For this, the carrier would need an in-transit heat trailer. And proper communication of the nature of the bulk liquid freight could help the carrier select suitable equipment.

Other instances where the proper equipment selection is crucial are in offloading situations where you could use compressors or pumps, and volume and weight situations for choosing what tanker size to use.

As the shipper, you don’t need the details of the equipment the carrier is to use. All you need is to tell the carrier what you intend to ship. A competent bulk liquid carrier should already know what equipment to use.

  • Loading and Unloading Bulk Liquid Tanks

It is also the responsibility of the bulk liquid carrier to see to the proper loading and unloading of the bulk liquid. But you may need to supply the carrier with some important pieces of information to help them serve you well. The pieces of information include the layout of your warehouse and the structure of your storage tank.

During the loading of the bulk liquid, you and the carrier must have personnel on-site to confirm the cargo quality from the supplier. These persons are also to make sure all the necessary tools and equipment are in place to transport the freight. Doing this should make the transport easier and less risky.

And when unloading a tanker, the two main methods are the use of a pump or a compressor. One of the differences between them is that the storage tank at your warehouse must be closed at the top when a compressor is being used. When using a pump, however, the tank should be open to ensure that the vacuum generated in the process does not damage pieces of equipment. 

Also, the unload points of tanker trucks sometimes differ. Some tanker trucks offload from the rear while others offload from the center. Unloading from an inclined surface, a rear offloading tanker truck could lead to waste when the liquid remains stuck at the front end. This waste could be expensive if there’s no way to get it out.

  • Safety and Adherence to Road Rules

Safety and adherence to road rules are the responsibilities of bulk liquid tanker carriers that ensure that the liquid freight is not a risk to lives and properties during transit. 

Many bulk liquids are hazardous materials, and they require extra care during transport. Mishandling them could bear catastrophic consequences for the shipper, the carrier, and innocents around. And that is why there are a lot of regulations from national regulatory bodies concerning the shipping of these materials. One of these regulations includes the proper regular training of every person involved in the transport of bulk liquids. :

Hazardous materials aren’t the only materials that require safe shipping and adherence to road rules. Every bulk liquid freight does. And the carrier company is to ensure that all their workers do the right thing.

  • Tank Washing and Proper Product Disposal

Bulk liquid tanker carriers have to ensure that their tankers are washed clean after every offload. 

Some chemicals must not mix, even in negligible quantities. In fact, some chemicals can only be transported in the same tanker two or three cargoes after the shipping of some other chemical. But when a carrier does not clean the tanker properly before shipping another chemical, they risk reducing the quality of the bulk liquid, and this is in the best-case scenario. At worst, some catastrophic reactions could ensue, leading to equipment damage or even loss of lives. 

Proper product disposal is also a huge responsibility of the carrier because we can’t have harmful chemicals sitting around. We also can’t have them destroying our dear Earth when they are not properly disposed of. 

What Could Go Wrong When Shipping Bulk Liquids

A lot of things could go wrong when shipping bulk liquids. These things include product contamination, faulty bulk liquid tanker equipment, and the mishandling of hazardous materials. When these things go wrong, they bring losses of all kinds to both the carrier and the shipper. Hundreds and millions of dollars are lost, for instance, brand trust takes a hit, and lawsuits may sprout.

Here are some ways things could go wrong when shipping bulk liquids:

  • Product Contamination

Product contamination is bad for everyone, including the shipper and the carrier. On the shipper’s end, product contamination leads to a reduction in the quality of the final product in the best-case scenario. And in the worst-case scenario, the bulk liquid becomes unusable. Even if insurance covered these losses, valuable production time would have gone to waste. 

The carrier can have it just as bad when the product contamination results from the carelessness of its workers. This could get them in trouble with regulatory bodies, insurance companies, and the shipper. It is also bad business for the carrier because it may affect its ability to attract new clients.

Bulk liquid tanker carriers can avoid the risk of product contamination when they are careful, use the right equipment, and have an expert-level understanding of the nature of their bulk liquid freights.

  • Mishandling of Hazardous Materials

The mishandling of hazardous bulk liquid materials is usually catastrophic. Nothing but catastrophe. That is why this challenge is one all carriers hope to never have. It could get them in trouble with the shipper or/and the government. It gets worse if the carrier is at fault, because it may not have the full cover of insurance then.

The proper training of all personnel involved in the handling of hazardous materials by the carrier is non-negotiable. This way, the workers know what not to do to avoid potential disasters, and what to do in emergencies.

  • Production Plant Shut Down

Production plants often work based on schedules. They need the supply of their bulk liquid materials to be timely or it could lead to massive delays and charges. And that is why the inconsistencies of a carrier could affect a production plant to the point of shutdown. 

  • Untrained and Irresponsible Carriers

Carriers bear the responsibility of training their workers. Without proper training, these workers may fumble in situations that require the competence of a well-trained worker. And when a carrier falters in this responsibility, it exposes its business and shippers to unnecessary risks.

In some cases, the lack of training is not the problem. Instead, it is the deliberate irresponsibility of the workers. When workers who know the right thing to do intentionally neglect them for the wrong things, disaster is always around the corner. And this could be just as costly as any other challenge bulk liquid tanker carriers may have.

Just as it is with the mishandling of hazardous materials, the proper training of all workers can solve this problem. Besides that, the recruitment process for carriers should be thorough to filter out potentially volatile and/or incompetent workers. This is important, as they would be in charge of bulk liquids worth hundreds or thousands.

  • Faulty Bulk Liquid Tanker Equipment

Faulty equipment could lead to the loss of the chemical shipment. Imagine a leaking tanker truck traveling across hundreds of miles. Depending on the frequency of the leak, the tanker truck could get to its destination with only half of the product it had at the loading point. 

That is why it is imperative that the carrier checks all tools and equipment before any shipment. And all faulty equipment should not be managed in that state, but be fixed as before use.


By now, you should already have a good understanding of what bulk liquid tanker carriers are about. They are companies that handle the transport of your bulk liquids, from the loading to the transit, and finally to the unloading. It is also their responsibility to ensure that your bulk liquid freights get to your warehouse with no significant diminishing in quality. 

However, things could quickly go wrong when your bulk liquid tanker carrier is incompetent. They could mishandle your cargo and cause the quality to diminish. Or they could waste your chemicals through their faulty tanker equipment or irresponsible workers. And when these happen, your business could suffer for it. Fortunately, these issues are avoidable when you partner with the right bulk liquid tanker carrier, such as Total Connection.

How Total Connection Makes a Difference

Total Connection is a third-party logistics company that deals in bulk liquid transport of all kinds. We have the experience, expertise, and equipment to administer any kind of bulk liquid logistics solution to your needs, without causing you to dig holes in your pocket. You can rest assured that your liquid cargo will always get to you whenever, wherever, and however you want it. No delay, no reduction in quality.

You too can add your business to our growing list of businesses that never have bulk liquid logistics issues when you contact us. Start by filling out the quote form below.


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