The chemical industry in Europe focuses on core activities and has outsourced logistics activities to third party logistical suppliers. The chemical companies want to assure themselves that the activities are carried out in accordance of own safety and quality standards. In the past individual chemical companies carried out periodic audits at their suppliers of logistical services. This has led to a fragmented treatment with a variety of questionnaires and requirements. This increased cost and inefficency were a burden to both the chemical and the transport industry.
The Chemical Distribution Institute, in association with the American Chemistry Council, has deveopled a programme that is similar to the SQAS programme. The IMPCAS (International Marine Packed Cargo Audit Scheme; formerly CDI-MPC) evaluates the management systems with respect to Responsible Care, quality, safety, security and environment of the logistics services suppliers in a uniform manner by means of a standardized questionnaire. The IMPCAS reports help the chemical companies in their choice of logistical service provider as well as pointing out improvement areas.
The IMPCAS assessment, that is carried out by an independent assessor, does not result in a certificate, but results in a detailed objective factual report. This report can be reviewed by chemical companies and compared with their specific requirements. The system replaces the various types of inspections to which a supplier of logistical services had been exposed previously, without giving up the dialog between both parties.
Although IMPCASon itself does not ensure the safety and quality of the provided service, the system introduces a a mechanism to evaluate ongoing improvement. The system provides useful feedback to the service provider concerning the observed strong and weak points during the assessment. As a result, the individual chemical company can evaluate and compare outcomes of the assessments.
The assessment takes place once every 3 years. The time spending is minimum 2 days. The report is placed in the database of the CDI and is accessible for the assessed company as well as the IMPCAS user group members. Participating companies receive a declaration of participation to the IMPCAS scheme and a detailed assessment report with the outcome of the assessment.
At present L.O.A.C. can assess the following IMPCAS schemes:
• IMPCAS tank container operator