Den Hartogh is one of the organisations taking part in an extremely interesting and innovative project called 4c4chem. It aims to optimise the supply chain in the chemical industry through closer collaboration.
The 4c4chem project started in 2012 and will finish in 2015. It's an initiative of TU/e and Dinalog in combination with a number of other partners. We at Den Hartogh will be providing input from the transportation side of the chemical industry. Also taking part are the three largest chemical companies in the Netherlands – SABIC, Shell and Dow – who are joined by Cargogator, the innovative platform developer, and VNCI, the Association of the Dutch Chemical Industry. Together we cover different parts of the chemical industry's supply chain, so we can cooperate on improvements to the benefit of everyone involved.
Plan, combine and bundle
Increasing the efficiency of the chemical industry supply chain is obviously a big target, so it's been broken down into more manageable goals:
- To plan transportation needs, forecasting and coordination more effectively
- To combine resources such as inventory and railcars
- To bundle container transport flows
The benefits of achieving these goals are numerous: Logistics will be made more efficient; business cycles and related prices will be predicted much more accurately; and substantial cost savings will be achieved across the supply chain. This initiative will also improve the competitive position of the Dutch chemical industry, as well as providing a solid foundation and business case for a start-up company to enter the market.
For Den Hartogh and all our partners in this project, these benefits would simply not have been possible without the close cooperation that comes from a project of this nature.
Well done Kelly!
The 4c4chem project has led to success in a completely unexpected way. Kelly Klawer, a recent graduate from the TU/e, based her thesis on the 4c4chem project. Her resulting paper entitled "New business model for horizontal supply chain collaboration in the commodity industry" won the Dow Chemical Master Thesis Award. Congratulations to Kelly... and also to Dow Chemical! Why? Because they awarded a major prize to a Shell-based project. It just shows that chemical companies can and do cooperate, and clearly demonstrates that teamwork works for everyone!