Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Freight Forwarders Often Shy Away from Hazardous Goods But Logistics Group Adapts to Needs

Hub Sees Specially Kitted Out Facility to Deal with Every Contingency
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – ITALY – Hazardous goods can be a profitable area for freight forwarders but always demand strict disciplines to ensure safety. This fact means either companies fight shy of dealing with them or, regrettably, sometimes rely on outdated handling procedures. Supply chain management company, Ceva Logistics has now expanded its services provided at its multiuser hub in Ontigola, Spain, by building a 240m2 specialist chemical storage facility, as part of the company’s commitment to providing best in class services. The chemical storage area is an independent fire fighting area separated from the other storage areas by a brick wall, and the zone is equipped with specialist fire fighting equipment including sprinklers and manholes placed in every door to collect any possible spill of product.

A team of specialised engineers built the area in compliance with all existing rules and requirements relating to the safe storage of chemical products and risk prevention in the workplace, and the completed area was unhesitatingly approved by the relevant authorities. Marco Galbusera, Ceva’s Manager Director in Iberia said:

“The building of the first chemical storage area for Ceva in Iberia demonstrates our commitment to meet the needs of customers in this highly regulated market. This investment will allow us to extend our relationships with our customers and will help us to keep growing our footprint in the logistics market.”

Strategically located south of Madrid, the Ontigola site is well connected by the N-IV road and the R4 highway, as well as the planned motorway to Valencia, an increasingly important import hub.

In other Ceva related news, the company has also recently announced a new three year contract worth more than €5 million with Hydro Building Systems, a global supplier of aluminium with operations in more than 40 countries and with activities in several areas, including building systems.

Under the contract, Ceva is responsible for handling and distribution activities for Hydro at three of Ceva’s warehouses in Italy: Arena Po, in the province of Pavia, covering the regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta; Monselice, in the province of Padua, to reach North Eastern Italy; and Zola Predosa, in the province of Bologna, to cover the Emilia Romagna and Tuscany regions.

Ceva receives Hydro’s already pre-labelled and sorted goods, according to addressee and destination, and places them temporarily in stock on cantilevers. The freight agency then organises optimised delivery routes, according to a schedule agreed with Hydro and the geographic footprint of their customer base, using approximately 20 trucks per day. Antonio Marsilio, Business Development Director for Automotive and Industrial, Ceva in Italy, said:

“We are proud to have signed a partnership with Hydro Building Systems. We provide them with the most experienced and highly trained teams, able to properly handle these sophisticated products, preventing any damage. This experience allows us to implement cutting edge solutions, while adapting them to the specific needs of the customer. Our teams will work in collaboration with Hydro to schedule an efficient product distribution calendar, applying Ceva's successful business approach based on continuous improvement and Operational Excellence at all stages of the operation.”

Ceva manages highly efficient cross-docking activities and aims to ensure timely distribution throughout its broad and well established network. Norwegian-based Hydro relies on Ceva’s international expertise and network as well as its experience in handling unusual products such as extrusions, which are typically long, thin and easily damaged. To manage these products, Ceva’s skilled teams use innovative technological systems, such as Ceva Matrix, which allows real time visibility of the whole supply chain. Ceva Matrix provides new capabilities for Hydro as, before signing the partnership with Ceva, the company didn’t have full control or real time traceability of their shipped products. Antonio Togna, Operations Manager of Hydro Building Systems South East Europe, added:

“We decided to adopt a new logistics structure, relying on Ceva because we consider it a leader in our industry. Ceva’s strategically located hubs not only have innovative and fully automated systems but also elements, such as doors flush with the wall, that are useful when handling products that can be easily damaged. As Ceva does, we believe it is important to offer our customers the best levels of service and the optimization of our logistics network will allow us to reach even higher levels of customer satisfaction, increase efficiency and reduce costs.”