Nadia Gombra: Chain responsibility – Are you responsibly en route or just not driving at all?

This article is about chain responsibility but most especially about what this means in practice for the logistical services provider.

Chain responsibility means that a company should take responsibility for its complete supply chain. Chain responsibility can be subdivided into:

Social responsibility, think of child labour, slavery, discrimination and good working conditions.
Ethical responsibility, for example bribery, corruption, safety and quality.
Environmental responsibility, think of dangerous substances, energy or waste shipments.

The importance of chain responsibility has increased over the last few years, particularly as government intervention is increasingly putting more attention onto sustainable ways of doing business. The government expects all companies (including logistics providers!) to investigate and take immediate action if issues arise in the supply chain.

Responsible chain management means that a company is continually actively investigating, managing and remedying (possible) malpractice in the chain.
The most common risks are child labour, slavery (human rights), corruption and environmental matters. Risks occur most commonly in countries where these sorts of matters are not well organized, for example in Eastern Europe, the Middle East or Asia.
It is easy to give examples for these subdivisions for the transport sector:
• The transport of products without clear (safety) agreements having been made between client, customer and transporter.
• Sham constructions drawn up by transporters allowing the use of cheap East European drivers while more expensive Dutch drivers have less work and are forced to sit at home some of the time.
• Emissions from storage terminals caused by failure to comply with legal agreements in the areas of maintenance and maximum emissions.
• Poor maintenance of transport equipment creating safety risks.
• Production of transport equipment in Eastern European or Asian countries without checking working conditions/child labour.
• Price agreements between various logistics providers aiming at artificially keeping the market at a certain level.
• A logistics provider dumping chemical substances in nature/ ocean to avoid paying additional processing costs.
• Allowing the possibility for drivers, having not received payment of their wages, to be able to make not only their employer but also his client liable.

Read the full story on page 25 in Cargo Magazine, Click here




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