What Is A Multi-Drop Operation & Why Are Businesses Moving to a Mini-Bulk Solution?

Multi-drop operations which are fulfilled with a road tanker solution have a whole host of benefits against Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) solutions.

Bulk chemical road tanker

Paul Blakeston, Head of Chemicals, discusses multi-drop operations and how these can benefit from a mini-bulk solution.

The main benefits of multi-drop operations using a road tanker solution include:

• Improved efficiency on site

• More sustainable and environmentally friendly due to the reduction in risk of spillages and damage which occur frequently with IBCs

• More convenient for customers as there is no recollection and cleaning of IBCs required

Read on to find out more about multi-drop operations and the benefits of a road tanker solution.

What is a multi-drop delivery?

A multi-drop delivery service is where a driver makes several deliveries of a product to different customer sites. It is commonly used for customers who require small quantities of product(s), often more frequently. Essentially, customers will receive smaller, and often less frequent, deliveries of product which can help with storage facilities or manage stock levels more closely.

How are multi-drop deliveries completed?

For multi-drop tanker deliveries, the driver will have a flow meter on the tank and will measure the quantity that is pumped off. The flow meters used are frequently calibrated and are proven to be extremely accurate.

Suttons chemical road tanker

What is the benefit of using a road tanker for multi-drop deliveries?

Small quantities of product can be delivered by Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) but more commonly now, manufacturers are opting for product to be transported in a road tanker.

The benefits of using a road tanker for multi-drop deliveries include the increased accuracy due to the flow meter, as well as a whole host of safety benefits. Using a road tanker instead of an IBC reduces the risk of product spillage which is particularly important when transporting hazardous products. Pumping product off from the road tanker also gives the customer more flexibility if quantities need to be amended which is more difficult with pre-proportioned IBCs.

Are road tanker solutions becoming more popular for multi-drop operations?

Manufacturers who historically supplied through IBCs are now more receptive to mini bulk solutions due to the ease of the transaction. IBC deliveries require the haulier to recollect empty containers and wash them out, which takes up space on the customer’s site and can often pose a safety risk. Whereas with a road tanker, the delivery is pumped off and the driver moves straight onto the next site’s delivery, meaning the delivery process is a lot more seamless and convenient.

How is the routing determined on a multi-drop operation?

To allow for optimum efficiency and reduce empty mileage, our multi-drop operations are routed optimally and calculated accurately using Paragon Planning Software. This software enables our Analytics team to review delivery destinations against customer profile to determine the most efficient routing.

Paragon planning software

Can multiple products be delivered on multi-drop operations?

There is a great degree of flexibility with multi-drop operations. A single product can be delivered on what is commonly known as ‘milk round’ deliveries, but multiple products can also be delivered to multiple destinations. If multiple products are needed to be delivered on a multi-drop operation, a multi-pot tanker is used. This means that there are separate compartments for each product and an individual flow meter can be fitted to each compartment to measure product quantity.

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