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The right chemistry: answering the top questions on chemical logistics

The chemical sector is a cornerstone of UK manufacturing, with its output integral across industries including plastic processing, water treatment and cleaning. For a sector that is a critical part of so many supply chains, a robust logistics solution is vital. To support chemical businesses, James Foulstone, UK Commercial Development Manager at Rhenus UK, answers some of the top questions on securing and managing the right logistics solution.

Editorial department: Safety is paramount in the chemical sector, how can this be assured with a logistics provider?

James Foulstone: Yes, safety is key due to the hazardous nature of many of the chemicals being transported. Safety must be considered in relation to logistics employees – those handling the shipments – members of the public and the environment. Businesses must choose a logistics partner that has the right certifications for safety and quality, including ISO 9001, GMP+ and AEO. Beyond this, select a partner which has experience working with hazardous goods and knows the chemical industry well. You can view our certificates and permits here.

Editorial department: Are there specific logistics handlers for hazardous goods?

James Foulstone: Yes, not all providers will be qualified to handle hazardous goods. You’ll need a logistics partner who has dedicated experience with hazardous goods so they can ensure the safety of your cargo, people and the environment as well as possessing the right certification to remain legally compliant. The logistics provider should provide details of their accreditations.

Editorial department: There’s been a lot of disruption to supply chains over the past couple of years, how can chemical manufacturers best manage this?

James Foulstone: Planning is a priority when it comes to managing transport, for any sector. In logistics, there are a lot of moving parts, which makes it unpredictable, not to mention ongoing economic and societal factors which play their part in changing the landscape. Having the right plan in place means you can best manage logistics and act quickly and efficiently if an original plan isn’t able to progress. Working with a partner who knows the chemical sector well will prove invaluable to help you navigate any challenges. At Rhenus, we’re proud of our close partnerships with our customers, and help to make them aware of potential issues before they impact their business. For example, our customs team is one way we’ve been able to help businesses work around the challenges of Brexit.

Editorial department: What’s your top tip for chemical businesses managing logistics?

James Foulstone: As the industry regularly faces new regulations and audits, it’s important to be aware of these challenges, adapt and keep on the right side of the law. By working with the right partner, this will all be easier to navigate, and they will be able to support your business, keeping you one step ahead.

Editorial department: What sets Rhenus apart as a logistics provider for the chemical sector?

James Foulstone: We have decades of experience of transporting chemicals, and we continue to build on this and innovate to best suit the needs of our customers. As a business, we invest in long-term quality checking and employee training on an ongoing basis to retain our leading position.

Our specialist knowledge of the industry and the regulations governing it is extensive. This enables us to work as a true partner with our customers. Plus, we have a full suite of transport solutions and the use of the wider Rhenus network to meet the needs of a wide range of businesses. This includes road freight, air and ocean capabilities as well as storage and handling solutions via our dedicated warehouses.

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