DSV Road in the UK is experiencing an increase in the number of enquiries relating to the transportation of chemicals – one of its strongest operational sectors – as the number of companies offering the service falls.
"As more and more regulations related to carrying chemicals and hazardous materials are imposed, it seems fewer hauliers are willing to carry the cargo," says Rene Falch Olesen, Managing Director UK.
"Also, regulations are not uniform across Europe, or at least not necessarily interpreted in the same way. So unless you have people on the ground at both ends, it can be a tricky business."
Many chemical companies are demanding carriers have SQAS (Safety Quality and Assessment System) assessments before they can even be considered for their transport work. The ISO9001 quality and ISO14001 environmental accreditations are also expected as a standard requirement. DSV Road is in a position to fulfil these requirements, having achieved both the SQAS and ISO accreditations.
Mr Falch Olesen says he understands why hauliers that do not have the resources and geographical coverage of DSV are not bidding for the chemical volumes. "There is significant investment involved, for instance making sure your drivers are ADR trained and your depots have the space and facilities to store the cargo."
Some products are only classed as hazardous when carried in bulk or in certain conditions and there are extra considerations for export traffic from the UK with different regulations for ferries and the Channel Tunnel.
"Obviously some chemicals cannot be mixed with general cargo or with other types of chemicals so there is more planning involved as well as higher costs for labels, storage and extra handling. It seems more hauliers are saying they do not have the resources to cope with these increased costs."
DSV moves a wide range of chemicals across the UK and Europe, from industrial adhesives to printer toner cartridges and pharmaceuticals. These products are packed in a variety of ways including drums, cartons and IBCs.