A recent report on the use of specialist chemical logistics providers found a significant lack of understanding of how much competitive advantage using an outsourced resource can bring. In its survey of chemical companies, Camelot Management Consultants found nearly 50% of those interviewed feared a ‘loss of control’ by out-sourcing their logistics function and a similar percentage, mainly small to medium-sized producers, see logistics merely as a cost centre. These companies require a fuller appreciation of how efficient, re-engineered and flexible supply chain management provided by seasoned experts can differentiate their chemical product in any given market.

Dachser is one of Europe’s largest specialist groupage logistics providers which has developed a bespoke industry solution specifically designed for the chemical industry – Dachser Chem-Logistics.

With decades of experience in handling dangerous goods, a dedicated central team of Safety Advisors almost 15,000 staff trained in the safe movement of chemicals, Dachser is able to transport sensitive goods reliably, quickly and flexibly throughout Europe. Utilising its extensive European road network, Dachser manages the chemical product’s total supply chain from procurement via interim storage, packaging and handling to final distribution. This approach optimises the logistics balance sheets of chemical manufacturers, giving them a competitive advantage when it comes to pricing their products.

Also critical to achieving a competitive edge for customers is the ability to track their valuable shipments progress and condition throughout the supply chain. Dachser’s globally-integrated network and standardised data processing enables exporters and importers alike to access real-time status information.

Dachser’s famed, tailored approach to its customers’ requirements is the result of decades of industry experience in creating customer-specific supply chain solutions. At the forefront of this is compliance with the continually evolving industry regulations and increasing demand for environmental sustainability. Accomplishing these tasks requires a well-tuned dangerous goods system for transport and handling, as well as extensive chemical industry expertise and up-to-date knowledge. Dachser’s dedicated teams of Dangerous Goods Safety Advisors are fully trained in the safe movement of chemicals, demonstrated through SQAS assessments and ISO 27001 accreditation.

A further conclusion Camelot drew from its recent survey was that to a great degree the future viability of increasingly complex chemical supply chains is very dependent on the ability of those involved to innovate. Respondents to the survey in many cases recommended the deployment of outsourced logistics experts who are better equipped to explore effective elements of innovation and invest in systems, processes and assets that the chemical company can benefit from without a disproportionate expenditure.

Dachser constantly review the best technology available and operates a globally standardised IT system to ensure complete transparency and high flexibility in the management of chemical shipments. In order to exchange knowledge and data quickly, the logistics provider has round-the-clock access to a worldwide hazardous goods database; this includes European road transport as well as worldwide air and ocean freight. The monitoring of quantity limits, transport and storage bans is exclusively IT-supported. The integrated IT systems can guarantee end-to-end shipment tracking and data protection is certified in accordance with ISO 27001.

The crucial elements of supply chain management – visibility, reliability, flexibility and security – are therefore ensured through an outsourced service, which is competitively costed and available with all the advantages of modern technology. Utilisation of these services by chemical suppliers changes the traditional attitudes towards the logistics function from one of non-profitable cost centre to one from which competitive advantage in the marketplace can be extracted significantly.