Difference between ISO tank and Flexitank

This month we have got a lot of questions regarding the difference of our two main transportation alternatives for bulk wine – ISO tank and flexitank. This article explains the main benefits between shipping bulk wine in ISO tank or flexitank. 

What is an ISO tank?

ISO tank | Reusable steel tank. The ISO tank is a stainless steel vessel designed to fit into a standard truck. It can be transported by sea, rail or road. From our experience at Premium Wine Broker they almost always have a capacity of 26,000 liters, that is slightly larger than the flexitank. The ISO tank is reuseble and robust, from our experience there has been no known taint of the wine in recent years.

Benefits with ISO tank

  • Reusable
  • Can hold more than flexitank
  • Very robust
  • Never contaminates
ISO tank of 26,000 liter, the kind we use at Premier Wine Broker.

ISO tank of 26,000 liter, the kind we use at Premier Wine Broker.

The ISO tank is a little bit safer, somewhat more complicated, and a tiny bit more expensive to operate
— Cruz Liljegren, Head Wine Broker

What is a flexitank?

Flexitank | Disposable plastic bag. The flexitank is a flexible bag that is fitted into a standard 6,25m container. They are basically always used once, some exceptions exist. Considerable development work has been done to find suitable materials for transportation of bulk wine without a quality loss. At Premium Wine Broker we work exclusively with transporters that use the most modern technology, a polyethylene bag with a barrier of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) copolymer. This  provides a low oxygen migration rate and keeps organic materials (that can taint wine) away.

Benefits with flexitank

  • Low oxygen migration
  • Protects against organic materials that can taint wine 
  • Cheaper to operate than ISO tank
  • Rage of sizes
  • Disposable plastic bags (Perhaps not ideal use of resources) 
  • Some logistical advantages 
Flexitank inside a standard container, the kind we use at Premium Wine Broker.

Flexitank inside a standard container, the kind we use at Premium Wine Broker.

The flexitank has some logistical advantages and are in most cases cheaper to operate
— Cruz Liljegren, Head Wine Broker