A new guideline for warehouse-based third-party logistics providers that handle chemicals was introduced by the International Warehouse Logistics Association. The protocol includes independent verification of each participating company's practices. The IWLA Chemical Council and the Responsible Warehouse Protocol includes independent verification of each participating company's practices.
"The increasing complexity of local, state, federal and international regulation of chemical products, and the requirements of supply chain partners and customers led IWLA members to work within the association to create this new council and verification program," said IWLA President & CEO Joel Anderson.
The Responsible Warehouse Protocol is similar in intent to protocols developed by the manufacturers and distributors of chemical products in Canada and the United States. However, it differs in that many of its components for measuring 11 different areas of day-to-day operation specifically target warehousing and related logistics services.
The IWLA Chemical Council will serve as a gathering place for members to exchange information and ideas about best practices in their segment of the industry. It will be a clearinghouse for communicating changes in legislation and regulation. The council chose its programs and activities based on a survey completed by IWLA member companies that handle chemical products.
According to Bob Dineen, president of Dominion Warehousing & Distribution Services Ltd., headquartered in Toronto, IWLA members in the United States and Canada built the program from the ground up: "Some obvious benefits to IWLA Chemical Council members in both countries are automatic industry recognition, reduced insurance risk ratings and premium costs—including a best-risk-assessment preparedness tool, networking among our membership and the potential for collaboration with other industry association groups."
"The council addresses the needs of most of the 400 IWLA warehouse members by specifically focusing on the handling of chemicals in the industry," said John Kiser, principal at Kiser Harriss Chemical Distribution Centers, Belmont, N.C.
John Auger, vice president of engineering & regulatory compliance for Brook Warehousing Corporation, Bridgewater, N.J., said, "The Responsible Warehouse Protocol is important and needed because there is no other one-stop source for what constitutes a well-run compliance program for warehousing."
Auger emphasized the importance of the program relying on independent third-party verification when some other programs rely instead on self assessment. "The independent verification gives it validity to someone looking into the supply chain from the outside," he said. "There is assurance for our customers and supply chain partners that program verification isn't just lip service."