How Can Logistics Service Providers Meet High HSEQ Standards

How Can Logistics Service Providers Meet High Health & Safety Standards?

A common misconception in our industry is that many logistics service providers don’t care about health and safety since they don’t have the same resources as large oil and chemical companies.

This article is written by Rudi Stalmans and featured in the Q2 2023 APAC Newsletter of OURAY Environmental Services. The original title in the newsletter is “Practical Guidance For Logistics Service Providers To Meet High Health & Safety Standards”.

In this post, you will find practical guidance for logistics service providers in the liquid bulk and chemical industry to meet high health & safety standards.

Embrace relationships that build capabilities

The relationship between logistics service providers and their clients is critical in managing health & safety in the supply chain. It is not only the user or client who selects the logistics service provider, but the latter also has a say in selecting customers. The logistics service provider may look at loyalty versus the cost of maintaining a customer to identify switchers, underperforming relationships, and most valuable clients and partners. Those logistics service providers that pick an opportunity that generates quick cash or take advantage of a rare opportunity in the short term are often running businesses in survival mode. On the other hand, you have those companies that are in growth mode and choose customers that help build capabilities.

Investment in relationships that can build safety capabilities can help you to save money and increase business volume. We have seen several service providers, such as trucking companies, warehouses, ship owners, and tank terminals, thrive in Asia, attracting more global customers once their safety standards improved.

Understand selection and audit criteria

Numerous oil and chemical companies have developed extensive internal safety management systems and rely on comprehensive preventive measures for occupational and process safety, health and environmental protection, and emergency response. They know minimizing risk along the entire supply chain is crucial to surviving. To guarantee safe loading and unloading operations, transportation, and storage, these oil and chemical majors focus on selecting reliable logistics partners using high standards. External logistics service providers are carefully selected and regularly evaluated against high quality and safety standards.

Take initiative to improve health & safety

With the new trends in responsible care and sustainability, the major oil and chemical companies expect logistics service providers to take initiatives to improve safety and meet the high requirements to be selected by the shippers.

That is often challenging for these service providers since oil and chemical companies do not always guide how to improve or what actions to take.

Four reasons for a potential lack of safety commitment are writing unclear health and safety objectives, possessing a lack of safety commitment, seeing safety as a cost, and ignoring safety incidents. However, on top of these four reasons, often a lack of health and safety expertise is an issue. Important to say is that logistics service providers can easily develop their safety expertise when they get the correct guidance.

Cultural differences can also play a vital role in the success or failure of a supply chain. Imagine the impact of potential differences in safety culture and approach to the safety case. Two people mastering the same language could face difficulties understanding each other due to cultural and behavioral differences, for example. This is something that needs to be addressed and managed.

Practical guidance for logistics service providers

I believe that all logistics service providers and industry players care about health and safety but need practical guidance on how to develop their safety culture, implement safety management systems, mount a successful crisis response, use effective crisis communication, and establish contingency plans.

While we help companies of all sizes, our service has entered this gap in the market with structural, cost-effective support for companies that lack HSEQ know-how and resources. For them, we have developed our ener8 supply chain sustainability proof method, which includes practical HSEQ training.


OURAY is a leading global environmental, engineering, manufacturing, and chemical services company with HQ in the USA offering solutions in over 100 countries.  At the request of the global chemical manufacturing and transportation industry, OURAY has added a location in Singapore to provide comprehensive chemical response throughout the Asia-Pacific region. This location in Singapore provides high-level chemical response, transloading, training, and auditing services. Click here for more information about OURAY.

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