Van Hool builds 482 tank containers for BASF

Van Hool builds 482 tank containers for BASF

Van Hool builds 482 tank containers for BASF

  • Van Hool and BASF have jointly developed new types of tank containers for rail transport.
  • The first prototype was delivered in 2015.
  • The new tank containers have numerous advantages over traditional rail tank cars.

Koningshooikt – Van Hool, an independent manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles, started production of 482 tank containers that will be used by BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany, to transport a range of chemical products. The signing of this major order was preceded by a period of more than two years in which BASF and Van Hool cooperated to develop the various new types of tank containers. The tank containers are 45’ (13.7 metres long with a basic volume of 53m³ or 63m³) and 52’ (15.8 metres with a basic volume of 73m³) with a load capacity of 66 to 67 tonnes. 90 units and 2 prototypes will be delivered this year. The balance of the order will be delivered in 2018.

Filip Van Hool, CEO at Van Hool NV, was very pleased with BASF's order: “Just like our ‘Bus&Car’ business unit (BU), Van Hool’s second pillar of business, particularly our ‘Industrial Vehicles’ BU, demonstrates the strengths that Van Hool offers as a company: working together with customers to develop transport solutions for people and goods that are good for the environment, good for our customers, and thus good for the Van Hool group. This has been our mission for the last 70 years, and this is the way we will go in the future. This specific order for BASF confirms the BU's position on the world market as a leading designer and manufacturer of tank containers for the transport of liquids and gases”.

Erik Taeymans, Director of the Industrial Vehicles BU, explained: “The collaboration between BASF and Van Hool has led to the development of a revolutionary concept that will fundamentally change how chemical products are transported. The tank container developed by BASF and Van Hool is optimised for rail transport and will possibly lead to a further shift of chemical goods transport from road to railway. This shift will improve the safety of have a positive impact on the road congestion user and the environment. Van Hool has managed to secure this important order thanks to the experience, knowledge and dedication of our workforce”.

BASF’s aim in introducing this new system is to make conventional rail transport just as quick and flexible as combined transport without losing the advantage of the existing high load capacities of conventional rail tank transport.

With a volume of 63000 litres and a maximum safe load of 66 tonnes, the 45’ tank container offers double the load capacity of the tank containers currently in general use; similar to that of a chemical tank wagon. The Van Hool expertise with 20 ', 30' and 45 'tank containers has been the basis for the development of the new 45' container The 45’ tank containers can be used for rail transport, inland waterway transport and can also be transported, in empty condition, over the road. The 45’ tank container can be removed from the container wagon, therefore requires considerably less rail infrastructure and offers greater flexibility in loading and unloading. In addition the containers are loaded stackable and can be used for liquid storage. Modern insulation technology and heating capabilities can be applied.


Cost advantages in conventional rail transport

When it comes to transport between (un)loading site and station, the total transport cost associated with conventional rail transport will be optimized. The removable tank also offers a number of supplementary advantages: the cleaning and repair work can be carried out more efficient without a wagon.

Besides the logistical benefits in terms of loading and fleet optimisation, the new container offers other cost advantages over the tank wagon. For example the annual circulation of a tank wagon averages just 25,000 km, compared to 180,000 km for a container wagon. Overall, this large-volume tank container will significantly increase the competitiveness of rail tank transport and potentially encourage the shift of liquids transport from road to rail. BASF plans to deploy the new 45’ tank containers with immediate effect.

Van Hool is an independent Belgian designer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles. The company was founded in 1947 and is located in Koningshooikt. The vast majority of items produced are destined for Europe and the US. Van Hool has 4,450 employees worldwide, most of whom are based at the production facilities in Koningshooikt, Belgium and in Skopje, Macedonia.


Editors, for more information, you can contact:

Dirk Snauwaert, Public Relations Manager at Van Hool,
Bernard Van Hoolstraat 58, 2500 Lier (Koningshooikt).
Tel.: +32 (0)3 420 22 12; Mobile: +32 (0)499 555 032;