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Many carriers admit that before signing the contract the shippers ask a „standard question” about the type of certificates they have. For example, IKEA requires ISO28000, and also Pilkington, one of the world’s largest producers of glass pays attention to this type of marking.

There are more than a dozen of certificates related to the transport industry. Some apply to a narrow, specialized activity, e.g. Food Safety Management System (food safety), Good Distribution Practice (medical product safety and medicine) or the Safety and Quality Assessment for Sustainability (transport of chemical products). Other evaluate the condition and the reliability of carriers. They include: The ISO 28000, TAPA TSR, or the latest one-TCC Elite.

Sample transport certificates together with a list of their key elements:

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„Risky” transportation

Many certificates evaluating credibility of carriers focused on the safety of the entire supply chain, which also include the final subcontractors, the existence of which the shipper is often unaware. How is that possible? They most often use the services provided by a logistics operator, who in turn uses three types of carriers: contract, regularly working for the operator for example on certain routes and the „spot” – type, e.g. originating in transport markets. This kind of solution is usded for example by Pilkington.

We have our own fleet, but also a group of carriers and shippers, we have worked with for years. Only a small percentage of our orders constitute so-called one-off transports” – explains Bogusław Gwardys, marketing and sales manager at Pilkington Automotive Poland.

In the case of Pilkington the share of the spot-type carriers comprises just a few percent, but many companies use their services much more frequently. They are most often looked for at smaller, occasional carriages. Which, however, does not mean less important.

Unfortunately, very often the verification of ” spot”- type contractors is difficult, sometimes superficial, since it is usually made quickly, when a sudden order is received. Sometimes even carriers who have signed bigger contracts with a shipper seek subcontractors independently. And this poses risk. It happens that the company, which is located at the very end of a supply chain has a very poor third party liability policy and does not use any telematic system. This means a leaky supply chain.

The comparison of the most popular certificates:

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The certificates reflect the needs of the shippers

Certificates are to certify the quality and credibility of the carrier. Most often, to get them, you need to undergo an audit or a procedure that checks whether the company meets all the requirements and certification standards. If there are reservations – a carrier must fix all the processes that do not operate as it is required. Only when the conditions are met, you can receive a certificate.

What requirements do we speak about? Generally speaking, it’s about checking documentation and procedures, according to which a carrier operates. Sometimes, in the case of specific certificates, this includes very detailed solutions, for example, the use of telematics.

Today, despite the huge potential of the native transport companies, only a half of them has telematic systems, that is the fleet monitoring systems in real time. That’s why the trucks of companies certified by us must be obligatorily equipped with GPS systems” – says Katarzyna Bylok, Senior Auditor of company Trans28000, conducting the TCC Elite certification program.

She adds, that the criteria for certificates for transport are the reflection of market standards and the needs of the shippers. And those on the booming in the transport industry and continuously climb up.

They check from the policies to telematics

When asked about the experience with the carriers, the representative of the Pilkington Automotive Poland admits that some shortcomings make it difficult to conduct business.

We haven’t had problems with insurance so far, neither with licenses or the third party liability of the carriers. Also the condition of the fleet of Polish companies is good, especially those that provide services at the international market. Unfortunately, the timtliness looks worse” – he admits.

That is why, it is so important for example, to check whether the company uses the telematics, as it was mentioned before. But that’s not all. Certifying companies carefully examine the contracts between carriers and shippers, ensuring, whether the transport actually meets the required standards and is not exposed to danger.

During our certification audit, we verify for example the actual coverage of the carrier insurance, namely if its policy includes key clauses such as the subcontractors liability clause, delivery delay, gross negligence, an accident due to the fault of a third party and CMR clause concerning the insurance against a missing item on a waybill -Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz explains, referring to the criteria of TCC/TCE Elite. -We verify also other areas e.g. associated with the condition of the carrier’s fleet or its reputation in the market.

Source: Buyout Invest

„There must exist a kind of chemistry between the shipper and the carrier”

Some carriers have multiple certificates that are complementary or allow the collaboration with customers from different industries.

From the stem of the quality of the services in the form of ISO: 2015 certificate, through the implemented HACCP and AEO, up to SQAS Transport Service – Jarosław Brachmański, Director of freight forwarding in Seifert Poland, lists the certificates held by the logistics company.

They give us a lot of flexibility and a wide spectrum of possibilities connected with carriage of specific goods for a wide range of supported industries. For instance the implemented SQAS is the information for chemical companies, that as a logistic recipient of the logistics we meet the international safety standards, which enables to minimize the risk of supplier selection and to create of a fair partnership. There must appear a kind of „chemistry ” between the chemical company and a transport company. Its components are expertise, the awareness of the danger, responsibility and trust – he persuades adding that even now his company is implementing one of the certificates for the transport needs of a new customer.

A certificate compliant with the standards of our group

Indeed, it happens more and more often that shippers require certificates from carriers with which they are to cooperate, or additionally appreciate their possession. For example, IKEA requested „all business partners who are involved in international flows and signed a valid framework contract, for certification under one of the following programs by August 31, 2020 at the latest: C-TPAT – US Customs (commercial partnership against terrorism – only for companies that provide services in the US), AEO (Authorized entrepreneur) or ISO 28000 (Specification of security management systems for a supply chain) „- we learned from Mattias Hennius from the office press of IKEA of Sweden AB. He added that the now close to 50% of the carriers of the company is certified.

IKEA is not an exception.

First of all, we pay attention to national and international licences for the carriage of goods, national and international third party liability insurance of a carrier with the appropriate guaranteed amount, or documents stipulated by the law, in connection with the carriage of the goods, e.g auto glass by means of road transport. It happens, however, that carriers who contact us brag about having certificates for transport, such as for example ISO If some of them have passed the verification, received the certificate, it shows them in good light. Not only that it raises their credibility, it is also in line with the standards of Pilkington group” – confirms Bogusław Gwardys, marketing and sales manager at Pilkington Automotive Poland.

The certificate is required when you sign a contract

The representative of the logistics operator – FM Logistic, speaks in the same vein.

Large corporations before the commencing cooperation want to know what certificates we have. At the moment it is basically a standard question before signing the contract” – explains Magdalena Matyśkiewicz.

However, it seems that the knowledge of certificates within the industry is still at the average level. It might be proven by the fact that for example the aforementioned ISO 28000 is up to five times less common in Poland than in Germany, even though it is created for the transport industry, which is very strong in our country.

Fortunately, this is changing because the awareness of there standards is growing, especially among shippers, and they still have the greatest impact on the carrier. If the customer imposes the carrier the requirement of the possession of a standard, for example, under the pain of losing the contract, the carrier in most cases will do everything to gain such a certificate. We are seeing now a lot of interest in ISO28000 since IKEA has began to require the standard from their subcontractors” – adds Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz.

This is confirmed by the shipper themselves. -By entering the certificates such as TAPA level „A” FSR or ISO 28000 we intended to pay special attention to the safety of the stored and distributed materials throughout the supply chain, „says Michael Ślisiński, distribution center manager in Lumileds Poland S.A.

We started off from a very general ISO9001 in 1993. We focused at that time exclusively on the manufacturing of the goods and sending them to the world to our customers on time. But then we realized that, pursuant to Incoterms (International trading rules, relating to the conditions of sale – ed.), we shall be liable also for the entire flow in the supply chain (from the quality to the delivery time). And so the question of loading and delivery to the door of our customer is also our responsibility. Getting to know the procedure of ISO, in particular, 28000, we have realized how to control the processes, do not only transport processes and how to select carriers and control them, for example by means of internal audits. Let’s not deceive ourselves – is the key matter for the security of supply” – stresses Michael Ślisiński.

More about how to audit the entire supply chain – soon.

Photo: iStock

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