INT’L FF & NVOCC SPECIAL - Global supplier Rohm & Haas places logistics as top priority

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Logistics  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTThe name may not be immediately familiar, but Rohm & Haas has been a leader in specialty chemicals and technologies since 1909.“While few consumers know us, few industries don’t,” comments David Pope, Logistics Category manager, International Logistics, for the specialty chemicals leader. “That’s because we are the source of a remarkable array of sophisticated materials that help our customers create better products so their customers can lead more comfortable lives.”
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Rohm & Haas generated annual sales of approximately $7.9 billion in 2005. For 2006, the figure was around $8.3 billion.
The company operates nearly 140 research and manufacturing locations in 27 countries. Its products and technologically sophisticated materials are used by a variety of industries to produce high quality goods. Its products enhance the performance of paints and coatings, automotive, computers and electronic devices, food and retail, household goods, adhesives, personal care products, and even water.
“We make the stuff that goes into stuff,” Pope remarks.
Its coatings segment is Rohm & Haas’s largest business segment (33%), followed by performance chemicals (21%), electronic materials (17%), salt (12%), adhesives and sealants (nine percent) and monomers (eight percent). Approximately 53% of the company’s business is within North America. Europe encompasses 25%; Asia Pacific, 18% and Latin America, four percent.
Logistics plays a huge role in the company’s success and is a major cost center.
“We spend approximately $460 million on logistics each year,” Pope reveals.
Approximately $55 million is spent annually on maritime freight with around 35,000 teus being shipped. Air freight expenditures total about $10 million annually.
“We use air freight sporadically for shipments of chemicals,” Pope states. “Air freight is used generally for emergency customer orders where maritime has failed.”
Nearly 80 of electronic materials shipments, however, are shipped by air freight.
“Its our standard operation procedures,” Pope states.
Third party assistanceOn the export side, safe, secure and timely transportation of its materials is a top priority. For Rohm & Haas, the customer is not only the end customer but also Rohm & Haas subsidiaries in each of the company’s four regions: North America, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Working with a small core group of strategic alliance partners, the Rohm & Haas Interregional Group ensures that all the operational and contractual activities associated with shipments run smoothly. That calls for high-end logistics management and customer service.
Consequently, Rohm & Haas employs BDP International to handle customer service functions for nearly all of its US exports from its Philadelphia (its central hub), Houston and Chicago locations, and specialized equipment shipments. Key to this arrangement is an on-site BDP customer service representative (CSR) team, comprised of logistics coordinators, who work in conjunction with CSR teams from Rohm & Haas. Operational issues are discussed on a regular basis as well as any other issues to ensure better visibility and understanding of customer requirements. This, in turn, yields improved on-time delivery and customer satisfaction.
BDP works within Rohm & Haas’s SAP system and their own system. BDP is also able to provide customer service via its website portal, The portal provides convenient, one-stop access to global tracking and status, document delivery and data warehouse capabilities through one website.
Expanding the working relationship, Rohm & Haas recently employed BDP to handle its air shipments from manufacturing sites across the United States to other global locations. Not only must these shipments move efficiently; the hazardous nature of many of those shipments and the heightened security climate further complicate the process.
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American Journal of Transportation