982 45' and 52' tank containers so far for BASF

Posted on
15 December, 2023

In 2015, this sounded like an unlikely story. A 45' tank container, replacing a conventional railway tank-wagon, with a volume of 63,000 litres and a maximum permissible total weight of 75 metric tons, double that of the average tank container?

We knew better. That same year, the first prototype of this extra-large tank container was delivered to BASF. Van Hool had been collaborating intensively for over two years with BASF, which was aiming for a new logistics model for its Ludwigshafen headquarters, and it did not shy away from this grand challenge, declaring itself ready and willing to design, develop and build a robust, safe 45' tank container.

In 2017, this “unlikely story” became a reality: BASF signed a contract with Van Hool for the construction of 482 45' (13.7 m.) and 52' (15.8 m.) tank containers with volumes of 53/63 and 73 cubic metres (or thousand litres) respectively.    

So far (year-end 2023) in Koningshooikt we have built 982 giant tank containers, which are all in use at BASF. They are stacked up to six high, are equipped with state-of-the-art fittings, are transported by AGV's (Automated Guided Vehicles) on the factory premises and are used for rail transport as well as internal storage purposes. Because they are detachable from the rail wagon, the tank containers need significantly less infrastructure than conventional railway tank-wagons, making them more flexible for loading, unloading and cleaning.

This specialist work would not be possible without the experience, knowledge and commitment of the IV employees at Van Hool. And we all wish BASF – with its 982 XXL tank containers – a nice round number for 2024.  (wink wink)

Contact our Van Hool tailormade specialist for your industrial transport solution.

Check BASF's website.