As consumers we live in a world where we are forced to constantly make decisions. Some require a great deal of time and research such as buying a car and some are simpler such as buying lunch. Although some may argue that is a greater feat. Nevertheless, there are endless options. With all the options available today, how do you decide and be confident in your decision?
Well, chemical logistics is no different. There are a variety of options to be considered. Although we think we are AWESOME. Your choice for a chemical warehousing facility should not be based off our bias. We want you to be fully confident and 100% on board with your decision.
That is why we have a worksheet with 7 tips to choosing a partner for chemical storage and distribution. These will help you find what questions to ask when looking at prospective partners and key things to look for.
Here are just a few of the tips you will find:
Check the provider’s reputation with objective sources.
Don’t rely on the 3PL’s marketing claims to gauge capabilities. Check those claims against the opinions of outside companies and agencies familiar with the provider. For instance, local fire departments with jurisdiction over the provider’s warehouses are part of the local permitting process and will be aware of the company’s ability to manage health, safety, security and environmental requirements for hazmat storage. With a little research, it may also be possible to identify the 3PL’s current or past customers. Call up these companies and ask for a candid assessment.
Choose a partner for present and future needs.
Too many Requests for Proposals ask only about a 3PL’s ability to address current needs. Instead, you should anticipate your needs well into the future and look for a partner that can satisfy these requirements to avoid the cost and risk involved in switching providers. For instance, today you may not be moving goods via rail, but you may want to exploit this lower-cost shipping option in the future. In that case, choosing a warehouse with a rail spur is smart planning. Likewise, your need today might be for simple pallet in/pallet out storage and distribution. But what if future requirements involve, for instance, repackaging 50-gallon drums into ten 5-gallon pails? Can the provider handle the job? Does the provider even want to do this kind of work?
Look for a provider of integrated services.
You’ll find many candidates for chemical warehouse services and many for last-mile transportation. But the pool of chemical logistics providers that can integrate these services with seamless visibility to product at rest and in motion is much smaller. The advantages of integrating logistics services with one provider include:
- Maintain the integrity of the product throughout the distribution cycle, including adherence to temperature control requirements.
- Create a closed loop supply chain by bringing reusable containers back to the warehouse after deliveries.
- Ease your management administrative
For more tips on vetting chemical warehouse providers, read our Insight paper: Chemical Logistics: 7 Tips for Choosing a Partner for Storage and Distribution.