Chemical logistics represent a large part of the nation’s trucking sector.
In 2015, the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) announced the results of research they had conducted to learn about the size and impact of the tank truck industry within the US. The results highlight the importance of this industry as one of the most specialized sectors within trucking. In fact, results show that the tank truck industry is responsible for hauling more than 2.4 billion tons of freight each year, equaling more than a quarter of all truck freight.
Even with the significance of this trucking sector and the impact it has on the industry and the US economy, misconceptions still exist with regard to chemical logistics. As leaders within the chemical logistics industry for more than 35 years, we’ve worked hard to educate customers and the general public about chemical logistics; this post will focus on three common misperceptions about chemical logistics.
Misconception #1: The driver shortage doesn’t exist
Truth: The driver shortage exists, especially in the chemical logistics industry
Information abounds about the current and impending driver shortage within the trucking industry – in both chemical and non-chemical sectors. Some of you may believe that trucking companies have propagated this story to increase their margins; some of you may be keenly aware of a driver shortage that you’re experiencing right now.
The truth is that within the chemical logistics industry, the driver shortage is definitely real. The current population of qualified, chemical drivers is aging, and there’s simply not enough new drivers rising through the ranks to fill the need. According to (American Trucking Association ATA) over the next decade, the trucking industry will need to hire a total 890,000 new drivers, or an average of 89,000 per year. Replacing retiring truck drivers will be by far the largest factor, accounting for nearly half of new driver hires (45%).
In addition, drivers that transport chemicals require additional training through the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OSHA to comply with the myriad of state and federal regulations and safety requirements that (understandably) accompany chemical hauling. Drivers that transport chemical products also assume a higher level of risk, taking responsibility for safely hauling potentially life-threatening substances from one place to another.
It’s imperative that you work closely with your logistics and supply chain professionals to ensure your chemical products will continue to be transported by the highest level of driver. At Dupré, the driver turnover rate is 25% compared to 100% nationwide. Part of the reason for such a low turnover rate is our driver management strategy. Dupré drivers benefit from the extensive work we have done over the years with our partners to isolate the things that are likely to contribute to unsafe operating conditions. We work with our drivers to educate them and build work rules that allow them to maximize their productivity and income potential while at the same time improving their safety performance and job satisfaction.
Consider a dedicated carrier option to be sure your product is delivered in the safest, most cost-effective manner by a highly trained, professional driver.
Misconception #2: Lower rates will ensure lower transportation costs
Truth: To make certain you’re receiving the most cost-effective, efficient chemical logistics services, it’s critical to partner with a logistics company that has your overall business strategy in mind.
There are a number of factors that can impact the cost effectiveness of your transportation services. Efficiencies can be gained by how a product is loaded or unloaded, by utilizing a specially-built truck that reduces the number of shipments each year or by pursuing the services of a 3PL, 4PL or LLPto most efficiently transport your product.
In order to ensure that you’re receiving the best logistics services for your money, it’s essential to develop a relationship with your logistics carrier and completely assess the benefits they can bring to your organization. for example, If you typically haul 45,000 pounds of product on a regular basis, you may be able to work with your logistics provider to build a lighter trailer that allows you to haul 50,000 pounds of product each time, saving hundreds of dollars in shipments per year.
Work closely with your logistics provider to develop the most cost effective solutions to reduce overall transportation costs, and meet your business’ supply chain strategy.
Misconception #3: All chemical logistics providers are created equal
Truth: Chemical logistics providers are not created equal, and it’s critical for your business to work closely with your transportation provider to develop solutions that best meet your chemical logistics needs.
Here at Dupré Logistics, we approach your business with a need to understand your goals and strategy, the preferences of your customers, and the competitive advantages that you bring to your industry. Our professional engineers and supply chain experts then develop a solution that best meets your needs, insulating you from the ebb and flow of the market, the impending driver shortage and provide expert advice on chemical logistics best practices that allow you to become more profitable.
One size does not fit all when it comes to chemical logistics providers, and the same is true for chemical manufacturers. It’s essential for your chemical logistics partner to work closely with you to develop solutions that increase overall productivity, enhance business performance, reduce costs and create a safe and efficient chemical logistics solution for your business.