Bulk Distributor Jan/Feb20

B ULK D ISTRIBUTOR www.bulk-distributor.com January/February 2020 Est. 1990 Your single information source for bulk and semi-bulk logistics Tank Containers • Flexitanks • IBCs • Drums • FIBCs • Bulk Liners • Road Tankers • Loading/Bagging • Bulk Logistics • Cleaning & Repair Depots • Components IN THIS ISSUE With UBH in administration, an agent has been appointed to try and find a buyer for the business Shipper 2 Asset Management 3 Tank Containers 8 Components 12 Cleaning 13 Flexitanks 14 Industrial Packaging 16 Logistics 18 Ports & Storage 19 FEATURES IN THE NEXT ISSUE Industrial packaging UBH goes into administration T he UK’s only tank container manufacturer, UBH international went into administration just before Christmas last year, resulting in nearly 100 members of staff being laid off. The company, based in Burscough, Lancashire, north of Liverpool, closed its doors on 17 December and was placed into the hands of administrators on 23 December, according to the UK’s official public record. Universal Bulk Handling (UBH) was established almost 60 years ago, employing generations of families who manufactured and supplied tank containers and road tankers to national and international customers. The news came 20 years after UBH previously failed. In 1999, it was placed in receivership resulting in the trial and conviction of the company’s then finance director and managing director for falsifying UBH’s accounts. The directors were jailed in 2003. The company was then bought from the receivers by its employees who proceeded to run it as a co-operative. In 2002, Baxi Partnership, a trust-owned investment company for employee ownership, bought a 50 percent stake in the renamed UBH International Ltd (UBHI) in return for a cash injection of £1 million. The remaining 50 percent of the tank builder continued to be owned by UBHI’s employees. Over the following years, UBHI built a seemingly stable business supplying tank containers to a regular client base. But output remained small compared with the biggest tank builders based in China and South Africa. In 2015, the latest year for which figures were published in the annual ITCO Fleet Survey, UBHI built 370 tanks. The same year, seven other regular tank manufacturers built multiple times that number. Efforts were made to develop specialist tanks, such as cryogenic units, alongside products such as pressure vessels for the oil & gas industry. Then in 2017, UBHI also returned to manufacturing road tankers, ranging from general purpose chemical tankers through rubber-lined tankers for acids, vacuum tankers for the waste industry and cryogenic tankers for industrial gases and LNG. In the company’s annual accounts for the year ended 30 September 2018, the latest available, your chemical resistance experts in europe HIGH PERFORMANCE COATINGS FOR TANK CONTAINERS MADE IN GERMANY your number 1 in europe for: • • • • ChemLINE 784® Proco – EMAIL, black® Proco – ECTFE HALAR® PLASITE® 3073 • Interline 9001 • Proco – L (F14E) • Proco – A (F17E) HÜNI + CO Eckenerstraße 65 88046 Friedrichshafen GERMANY www.hueni.de [email protected] Ports, storage & warehousing Road Tankers Equipment leasing To advertise or contribute please email [email protected] or [email protected] UBHI posted a loss of nearly £1.4 million on a turnover of £6.3 million, with similar losses in the previous two years. A resolution was adopted under which Baxi’s share would be bought back by the company, and this was effected in May 2019. Nearby companies, including Ainscough Crane Hire, took to social media to offer redundant workers help after the business closure. In the meantime, Sheffield-based law firm Graywoods is handling the administration and an agent has been appointed to try and find a buyer for the business. Stolt posts slight fall S tolt Tank Containers reported fourth quarter revenue of US$133.4 million, compared with $135.2 million in the third quarter. While total shipments were up slightly in the fourth quarter, transport revenue decreased by $4 million, due to a higher proportion of intra-regional shipments, which generate less revenue. The decline was partially offset by a $1.6 million increase in demurrage revenue. Performance for the quarter reflected continued price competition and softness in markets overall. The total number of tanks in STC’s global fleet was essentially unchanged in the fourth quarter. STC reported a fourth quarter operating profit of $15.7 million, up from $12.1 million in the third quarter. Results for the quarter reflected a $5.9 million decline in fourth quarter operating expense, driven mainly by lower freight costs from the higher proportion of intra-regional shipments, lower repositioning and other move-related costs.