NACD: Linden Bulk takes the plaudits

03 December 2013 11:09 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Delegates at August’s ChemEdge conference saw New Jersey-based Linden Bulk Transportation (LBT) announced as NACD’s 2013 Responsible Distribution Excellence Award winner, and praised for epitomizing the high standards required by the program.

Doug Brown, NACD treasurer and president/CEO of Brown Chemical Co., Inc. applauded LBT’s efforts that saw it become the eighth recipient of this prestigious award. The company drew particular recognition for the level of commitment from both management and employees in meeting key criteria that makes Responsible Distribution an essential element of NACD membership.

(Pictured l-r) Doug Brown, Roger Harris, Joe Neumeister, Jared Stadlin and Mat Brainerd

Responsible Distribution remains the yardstick by which NACD members measure their performance and commitment to health, safety, security, and the environment. Through its third-party verification program, introduced in 1991, NACD members not only ensure compliance but also communicate with local, state, and federal legislators on technical issues relating to the safe handling, storage, transportation, use, and disposal of chemical products.

“Linden Bulk Transportation is very honored to receive this prestigious award, especially to be the first Affiliate to earn it,” said Joe Neumeister, LBT’s general manager – quality and regulatory assurance, at the ceremony. “All of our colleagues at Linden Bulk Transportation have embraced the guiding principles of Responsible Distribution for years. They’re committed to doing their part to provide excellent customer service through our ‘Tender Loving Care’ process, ensuring customer products are handled and cared for correctly and in our driver safety programs to ensure drivers carry out work in a safe and proper manner. This award is further acknowledgment of their efforts.”

LBT chairman Sandy Salz and president Paul DeFalco acknowledge it is a true honor that the NACD recognized LBT’s longstanding commitment to Responsible Distribution when it selected LBT as the first NACD Affiliate to receive this prestigious award.

The family-run business is the largest Northeast regional bulk carrier and has been providing premier bulk transportation services for over three decades. Its Linden, NJ, terminal includes a full service intermodal depot as well as cleaning and maintenance facilities. LBT also has a satellite terminal in Bensalem, PA, and its affiliate, Linden Bulk Transportation SW, LLC, operates terminals in Pasadena and Houston, TX, as well as in St. Gabriel, LA.

Neumeister says the award was a result of the entire LBT team being committed to the principles of Responsible Distribution, which are deeply engrained in the day to day running of the business.

“Everybody here was appreciative of the recognition, and recognizes that it was due to the hard work that everybody puts in,” he says.

Paul DeFalco adds that Linden Bulk’s investment in its ISO certified quality management system and verification programs like NACD’s Responsible Distribution have provided it with a frame work for success. “We first achieved ISO certification in 1995 and the Responsible Distribution standard fitted nicely into what we had been doing. Responsible Distribution has now become part of our company’s culture,” says Neumeister.

“Versus our peers, we have about 26 key measurements that we constantly maintain. These metrics tell us how healthy we are as a company and we look at these across almost every department. Each has objectives that are reviewed annually and we let the data drive what we’re doing in every key area and make the necessary changes. Everyone at Linden Bulk has the opportunity to come forward with ideas that could improve the process.”

Customer service is central to LBT’s strategy, and the firm is further enhancing this through a major investment program by rolling out GPS and electronic onboard recorders throughout its fleet. The changes will help ensure compliance with the Hours of Service Regulations and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration process.

“We view all of this as a way to ensure that we’re operating safely, efficiently and reliably for the benefit of our customers. We’re making sizeable investments not only financially but also in terms of deploying the technology, training our colleagues, and the implementation process,” says LBT’s vice president Michael Salz.

Despite the myriad legislation, rising costs, and stringent safety and security requirements facing the industry, LBT recognizes an efficient and happy team remains a priority. With the average driving age around 55 years old and the baby boomer generation about to retire, encouraging young talent into the industry and keeping staff is paramount.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge that faces the industry is driver availability,” says DeFalco. “We have a lot of capacity from an equipment standpoint and a lot of opportunities from a customer standpoint, but finding, training and retaining high quality drivers is both a challenge and an opportunity for us.”

“If you have a content, safe, well-trained driving force and colleagues who embrace the principles of ISO and Responsible Distribution, it positions you to win awards such as this. Ultimately our success is dependent on our ability to grow, and satisfy our customers and our colleagues. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with NACD,” he says. ■

Andy Brice ICIS London

By Andy Brice