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Report on EPCA/Cefic/ECTA Seminar

“Best Practices in Chemical Logistics” was the theme for a twoday seminar held in Vienna in February, bringing together experts from both the chemical producing and transport industries to discuss ways to improve the efficiency and performance of chemical logistics for the mutual benefit of both sectors.

Hosted and organized by the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA), in co-operation with the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the European Chemical Transport Association (ECTA), the seminar attracted over 150 participants from chemical manufacturing and transport firms from 20 countries to discuss key issues in a lively and positive environment.

Highlights included numerous breakout sessions, which gave everyone opportunities to relate and discuss their experiences and expertise in small focus groups before summarizing outcomes in plenary sessions.

The Best Practices seminar provided valuable follow-up to the work of the EPCA/Cefic Think Tank on Excellence in the Supply Chain. This major undertaking has made good progress in the last year, with working groups investigating four key aspects of supply chain optimisation:

1. Company Collaborative Models

2. Capabilities of Logistics Service Providers

3. Skills, Talent & Training

4 Security & Environment

The four working groups have identified the principal drivers in chemical logistics and pinpointed the main constraints and bottlenecks hindering greater supply chain efficiencies. They have also recommended ways to tackle these constraints and calculated approximate financial benefits of implementation for chemical producers and their transport service companies.

The seminar provided an opportunity for a wide cross-section of the European industry to verify Think Tank working group findings while also proposing practical first steps that individual companies and the industry can take towards realising these goals.

Day one of the Vienna meeting focused on industry best practices for land transport of chemicals developed by ECTA/EPCA/Cefic. Break-out sessions targeted specific topics such as behaviour-based safety (BBS) loading/unloading, securing cargo, delivery performance measurement standardisation, tipping silo and container transport, the standardisation of transport equipment and transport security.

Day two began with a summary of the conclusions of the EPCA/Cefic Supply Chain Excellence Think Tank and the working groups’ recommendations, information which is contained in the report “Maximising Performance – The Power of Supply Chain Collaboration”. Afterwards, a series of breakout sessions considered each of the Think Tank working group subjects. A final session summing up of the wide-ranging proceedings concluded the event.