Going from strength to strength
Mr Timmel, whose family started the tank cleaning business in 1978, said operations have remained very busy over the years despite, for example, during the pandemic years.
However, the proprietor who also sits on the board of APLICA, which is made up of companies whose primary activity is the internal cleaning of road tankers, added that the rise in prices of key products and ingredients have proved to be ‘a challenge’.
He said: “The prices of everything has gone up, which has made things a lot more challenging. For example, the prices of cleaning agents as well as the chemicals that we use have all increased.
“Products are now three times more expensive than what they were and it is just something we have to cope with and hopefully these prices will come down again in the not too distant future.”
Despite these challenges, brought on by the ongoing war in Ukraine no less, operations have been frantic at the Benheim facility, located close to the German border.
Timmel Freres operates four lines for tankers as well as one line for intermediate bulk containers (IBC).
Every day between 50 and 60 vehicles arrive at the site to be cleaned on one of the four lines while 50 to 80 IBCs are also processed daily.
“I’m more than happy with how things are going at the moment,” added Timmel. “The amount of business we are getting has not dropped off and with our professional teams, I would suggest that we provide good value for our customers.”
This is in no small part due to the fact that Timmel Freres is a member of APLICA.
“Yes, APLICA here in France has a very good reputation,” he outlined. “Being a member of the organisation shows that we are a professional organisation, which can be trusted to carry out very good operations.”
APLICA is a founding member of the European Federation of Tank Cleaning Organisations (EFTCO) that was formed in 1992.
According to the organisation’s secretary general Sophie Robin, there are several new cleaning stations ready to join in addition to the 78 members in the country already onboard.
Robin, who has been with APLICA since 2012, said that to date more than 550,000 cleaning documents have been issued, which highlight the quality and legality of the tank cleaning operations.
She said: “APLICA is made up of members who play an essential role in the logistics supply chain.
“The association takes part in all discussions with both French and the European Union authorities on regulations relating to the cleaning of various containers.
“In addition to providing information to its members, APLICA aims to develop its relationship with partners representing carriers in different transport categories and with partnerships representing shippers, a communication policy on the cleaning of various containers and its relationship with partners that share the same aims in other EU states and abroad.”
Robin was also keen to stress that APLICA actively promotes the eECD (EFTCO cleaning document) within France. She added that the main benefits of the cleaning document were the transparency of information, which goes some way to tackling fraud.
APLICA continues to fight against rogue cleaning stations and the association is in constant contact with the French Ministry for the Environment.
The aim of this is to ensure that the association’s rules are adhered to, taking into consideration internal regulations and their annexes, as well as EFTCO’s rules for washing stations using the eECD.
APLICA’s members are required to comply with French regulations concerning discharges (in the municipality or in the natural environment). There are two main ways to monitor compliance with wastewater treatment regulations. Firstly when applying for membership and, secondly, companies must send in documentation on water usage to APLICA as well as through an internal audit.
For more information: Visit: aplica-asso.fr