The EPCA’s 31st Logistics Meeting was held at the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel in Monaco on 23-27 October 2004. Welcoming delegates, the EPCA Logistics Committee Chairman, Dennis Tual of Arkema, said that this had been another busy year for the Association in the logistics field. A joint EPCA/European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) Think Tank had spent a good part of the past year considering excellence in the supply chain. The findings of this group had been distilled into a brochure and were to be discussed in a special panel session at the 31st Logistics Meeting.
In addition, said Dennis Tual, the joint CEFIC/European Chemical Transport Association (ECTA) Working Group on Behaviour-based Safety (BBS) had completed the Guidelines for Safe Driving of Road Freight Vehicles, as part of an initiative by the chemical industry to upgrade the chemical driver training regime and extend its Responsible Care safety remit beyond the plant gates. The relevant BBS requirements have been incorporated in the latest revised edition of the Safety and Quality Assessment System for Road Transport (SQAS Road).
Another joint CEFIC/ECTA Working Group, on Subcontracting, was in the process of finalising Guidelines on Subcontractor Agreements for Chemical Land Transport. Following their expected approval in the next few weeks, these are likely to be available for application by the industry in January 2005.
Looking to the future, Denis Tual told Logistics Meeting delegates that the Association plans to combine the EPCA Annual and Logistics Meetings, beginning in 2006 in Monaco. Although the conference sessions for the two meetings would be held on separate days, there would be sufficient overlap and considerable opportunity for networking across the industry spectrum.
The chairman then handed proceedings over to Michael Buerk of the BBC, in whose capable hands the task of moderating the Association’s Annual and Logistics Meetings has now rested for the past 11 years. Michael Buerk said that he had followed numerous chemical industry cycles over that period. This year there is more optimism than there has been for some time. Industry players are more upbeat and some money is being made. However, Michael Buerk admitted that this is the short-term view. For the longer term, many are gloomy about the European chemical industry’s prospects in the face strengthening global competition, stagnating markets, regulatory constraints and rising costs.
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