Finding the right chemical storage facility for your products is an involved process. You’re not only looking for a third-party logistics (3PL) provider that can comply with all regulatory requirements, you’re looking for a partner that truly knows your product and can fit seamlessly into your existing supply chain. In this article, we’ll try to simplify the sourcing process and identify the top 4 factors you’ll need to consider when finding the right chemical 3PL partner.
4 key chemical storage facility considerations1. How strong is the provider’s reputation? While every 3PL’s marketing materials will tell a good story, you’re going to need to do some digging on your own. After all, these are chemicals we’re talking about; extremely volatile products that can’t be entrusted to just anyone.
To make sure your prospective provider is up to the task of handling your products, ask around. This means asking for references from – and following up with – current and previous customers. It also means following up with state and local agencies familiar with the provider. For example, local fire departments with jurisdiction over the provider’s warehouses will be aware of the company’s ability to manage health, safety, security, and environmental requirements for hazmat storage.
Once you’ve talked to these entities, it’s time to see for yourself. Schedule a tour of the facility(s) to see the 3PL’s chemical storage facility in action.
2. Does the provider have experience handling your class of chemicals? “Chemicals” is a very broad term that runs the gamut from household paints to heavy-duty industrial flammables and corrosives. It is vital that the 3PL you choose to handle your chemical products has proven expertise – and meets all requirements – in the storage of your specific chemical class(s). This includes adhering to structural requirements, ensuring adequate separation between chemical classes, and optimizing product storage environments.
3. How experienced is the provider’s staff? In addition to the provider as a whole, you’ll want to inquire about the experience of those supervising and operating your business. From paperwork and regulations to policies and procedures, these are the people that should be advising you – not the other way around.
Pay close attention the 3PL’s training program. Are only top-level team members trained? Or is training provided for all workers who will touch your product? It could be a very important distinction. Additionally, you should ask to see a copy of the provider’s Environmental, Health and Safety Plan, which should include training program details.
4. Can the provider meet your present AND future needs? As you go through the vetting process with your prospective provider, it’s easy to fall into ‘box checking’ mode where you see if the 3PL can handle your requirements as they currently stand. It is important, however, to also anticipate your future needs – to the extent possible – during the vetting process. You don’t want to spend all this time, energy and money finding the right provider for now only to begin the process all over again if you find that your provider can’t support ongoing operational changes and/or new products.
Turn to Weber Logistics for chemical storage excellence
Chemical logistics has been a strategic focus for Weber since 1970. Since then, we’ve served some of the world’s largest chemical companies and continue to do so. Weber specializes in storing and distributing a range of hazmat materials, including flammables, corrosives, oxidizers, gases and powder coatings. Whether you need a dedicated facility or shared warehouse space, Weber creates the safest environment for our staff and your product.
Our Santa Fe Springs, CA chemical distribution center includes 13 segregated rooms for different product types and temperature ranges; segregated H2, H3, H7 and S2 occupancy areas; and a team of on-site hazmat specialists that are responsible for training, reporting and compliance. To learn more about the benefits of our West Coast chemical storage facilities, contact us today.