08 February, 2024


As anyone can imagine, transporting chemicals is a tricky business and requires the right chemical logistics partner. Though chemical companies want what all shippers want, to provide timely and efficient deliveries, safety is the number one priority. There are significant safety risks associated with transporting and storing hazardous materials. Improper handling of chemical products can have major consequences, including injury for warehouse workers and truck drivers. For these reasons, many chemical producers choose to work with an experienced 3PL for their warehousing and transportation needs.

But choosing the ‘right’ 3PL for chemical companies can be a challenge. Aside from mandatory certifications and the necessary experience, chemical suppliers need to find a partner that focuses on safety. Here is a look at how to find the right partner for the job.


We know there are a lot of choices when it comes to third-party warehousing and distribution. From cost savings, expansive distribution plans, and technological integrations, the options are endless. But when it comes to transporting and storing chemicals, companies have other factors to address. The more traditional needs are still critical, but safety and safety protocols play a big role in finding the best partner.


There are numerous classes of chemicals, and each of these classes comes with its own specific requirements around handling, shipping and storing. Shippers should never assume that a potential 3PL is prepared to handle all the different classes of chemicals. From explosions and environmental damage to harm to employees, 3PLs that are handling chemicals need to have experience with all different types of chemicals, not just harmless or unregulated classes.

As a chemical shipper, you want to ensure that any potential partner has extensive experience with your specific class of chemicals. Be upfront about your needs and dig into the level of experience the potential partner has. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and inquire about the level of professionalism and customer service that the 3PL provided.


It’s a mistake we see far too often. Proposals address a business’s current needs but don’t take into consideration growth and scalability. This can be a costly mistake, forcing chemical shippers to look for new partnerships instead of deepening the relationship they’ve established with their current 3PL.

Through the use of technology and innovation, shippers and 3PLs will be able to address current business objectives and challenges and forecast future growth. This collaboration between shippers and third party logistics providers will help strengthen the supply chain and drive opportunity.


Chemical shipments require a level of hand-holding that most other goods don’t. Often advanced tracking software and traceability are required to ensure that the chemicals are transported and stored properly. It’s imperative that logistics providers have an integrated warehouse management system (WMS) to provide real-time data and tracking capabilities.

“Tracking and managing your chemical inventory can feel secondary to the “real” work of production and distribution — but all of these activities impact one another. As products are created and moved, stock levels change, items are taken from their usual spots and chemicals near their expiration dates, so it’s critical to know the status of every product in your inventory at all times.” writes Caitlin O’Donnell.

As chemical companies continue to build more efficient supply chains, supplier data gives invaluable insight into the process, tracking, and even disruptions, allowing for more predictable deliveries.


All industries take the necessary precautions to protect their materials and products. But for chemical companies, the needs and overall safety magnify these precautions. Choosing a third party logistics partner highlights the importance of compliance and safety over everything else.

Here at WSI, we’ve been working with chemicals for over 50 years and have strived to perfect chemical transport and storage solutions. Our experience and knowledge base enable us to stay in sync with the ever-changing requirements — providing comprehensive 3PL for chemicals.

We’re here to help, just drop us an email.

A smart way to grow your chemical logistics company is to scale your supply chain operations with processes that maximize efficiency, minimize cost and increase customers’ trust and loyalty to your brand. There’s a careful balance to growing a company quickly to meet demand, while not growing so fast that you are cutting corners and sacrificing safety and quality. Working with a respected, knowledgeable and reliable 3PL is a great way to scale your chemical logistics operations without risking your reputation in the process.

The global chemical market tends to post steady growth overall.  Because of this, the chemical industry requires 3PL partners that can handle consistent growth in storage, distribution, and transportation needs.



96% of customers said they don’t complain about bad service, instead, they just leave. In order to get the best customers (and keep them) it’s imperative that you provide a top-notch product and high quality customer service. By combining your internal customer service team with that of a solid 3PL partner, you can ensure that your customers’ needs are met throughout all stages of the supply chain.

At WSI, for example, we have dedicated customer service teams assigned to each of our partner’s accounts. These teams are group based on their experience, area of expertise and geographic location as needed. This allows them to confidently meet the needs of customers with unique requirements and highly regulated products, such as chemicals. They are also trained in all important aspects of their assigned customers’ operations, from inbound and outbound processes, to transportation contracts and invoicing requests. Our customer service team takes care of providing accessible and prompt service to our partners, which in turn allows them to do the same for their customers.


These days, customers want to see the status of their order from end to end in real-time. According to a recent survey, “83% of U.S. online shoppers expect regular communication about their purchases.” And this doesn’t only apply to Ecommerce and retail businesses. A many companies (and their supply chains!) accommodate to the raised expectations of the average consumer, other industries have followed suit. Enhancing this visibility into your inventory and distribution reflects well on your brand and helps build trust.

Another thing to consider: visibility doesn’t stop with your customers! Internal visibility is also key to scaling your business. With the right technology, you can start tracking real-time data that highlights areas that need improvement, as well as empowers your team to respond to customer needs faster and more accurately. All these factors help to ensure your company’s ability to grow and scale while building brand loyalty.


As your company continues to grow, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of the business. If you are spending hours and hours a week on managing you’re the logistics of your supply chain, you may be sacrificing time on other vital tasks.

Just as you are an expert in your company and its products, 3PLs are experts supply chain. A 3PL, like WSI, maintains a large network of warehouses and distribution centers as well as relationships with transportation carriers. Leaving the logistics businesses to a 3PL partner allows you to focus on your business vision, while they maintain processes and procedures. In the end, you end up with more time, less headaches and a satisfied customer.


If you’re seeking a chemical logistics provider that will go above and beyond, then WSI is the right partner for you. Compare with our competitors, you’ll find that WSI excels in the following areas.


Superior performance in chemical logistics comes through extensive experience. At WSI, our team has developed comprehensive experience with virtually every class of chemicals. Some of the chemical types we handle every day include:

  • Acids
  • Corrosives
  • Detergents
  • Dyes, paper, and textile
  • Fertilizer
  • Optical brighteners
  • Oxidizers
  • Paints
  • Paper treatment
  • Petrochemicals
  • Poisons
  • Plastic resins
  • Polyresin films
  • Polymers
  • Potassium carbonate pellets
  • Solvents
  • ORM-D

We’ve developed a reputation as an industry leader in chemical logistics. Our reliable service and specialized capabilities have allowed us to foster long-term relationships with some of the world’s largest chemical brands. Some of our chemical capabilities have been featured in our success stories section.

Don’t just take our word for it, however. We consistently earn our place on the annual Inbound Logistics Top 100 3PL list, year after year. We were also named a 2020 Best Fully Integrated Logistics Provider in Corporate Vision magazine’s Logistics, Warehouse, and Supply Chain Awards.


Safety is a top priority at WSI. We understand the hazardous nature of chemical products and have implemented stringent safety policies and practices in every step of our chemical handling operations. Our workforce undergoes regular training in hazardous material and chemical handling, helping us to mitigate the risk of accidents and reinforce our core value of operational safety. Our employees must undergo the following training:

  • USDOT hazmat
  • OSHA hazmat
  • EPA
  • IMDG
  • IATA

In the spirit of continuous improvement, we also conduct scheduled and unscheduled spill drills in our chemical facilities to ensure that our procedures and processes remain effective and up-to-date.


Every chemical facility operated by WSI operates within the strict letter of the law, including all necessary licenses, permits, and certifications. Our storage and logistics operations are also fully compliant with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and C-TPAT guidelines.

The true differentiator for WSI is our American Chemistry Council Responsible Care® partnership. WSI was the first 3PL to ever receive Responsible Care partner status. To pass a Responsible Care audit, a logistics provider must demonstrate a willingness to significantly exceed basic environmental, safety, health, and security legal requirements. Our Responsible Care partnership helps us demonstrate to chemical businesses that we can be trusted to handle hazardous materials safely and effectively.


The WSI Family of Companies encompasses the 360data™ suite of logistics software solutions, granting us unique capabilities and insight within all of our operations. Our comprehensive technology includes a transportation management system, an order management system, and an electronic data interchange to ensure a reliable interface with other B2B technologies. Our chemical warehouses also use an advanced warehouse management system, allowing us to provide full tracking and traceability on all chemical products that move through our facilities.


With an extensive national portfolio and resources, WSI can fully scale our chemical logistics services to meet any need of our customers. When partnering with WSI, chemical companies will never have to worry about outgrowing our capabilities. When we enter into a business partnership, we always plan to see it flourish in the long-term.


Our newest chemical facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa features Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) status. With an FTZ, we can import and process chemical products for our global customers without paying any U.S. Customs duties until the chemicals have been prepared for distribution to local markets. We can also hold chemicals indefinitely in the FTZ without paying duties, or export chemicals from the FTZ to foreign markets without paying duties. These abilities allow us to streamline the costs, tariffs, and taxes associated with international chemical distribution.


Our new Council Bluffs location also demonstrates our ability to fully customize chemical logistics operations for our customers. While this facility already has the FTZ and centralized national distribution capabilities via road and rail, WSI intends to add a bulk tank farm and is exploring the option of additional packaging capabilities. These projects will optimize the facility for the existing client and provide opportunities for new customers in the multi-tenant facility as well. If you have unique or highly specific needs for your chemical logistics operation, we’re happy to tailor a solution for you.


Raw chemicals pose a greater risk to the environment than most other product types. That makes it essential for chemical companies to work only with logistics providers who respect the hazardous nature of chemical materials. Our commitment to environmental stewardship is one of our core values at WSI. Our environmental programs include:

• ACC Responsible Care partnership
• Electric-powered equipment over gas-powered whenever possible
• Natural landscaping and optimized green space at all facilities to minimize storm runoff
• Recycling programs at all facilities, resulting in thousands of tons of recycled materials annually
• Ongoing upgrades to energy-efficient lighting within our facilities
• EPA SmartWay® Transport Partner certification
• International Operation Clean Sweep® partner to prevent resin waste from entering marine environments
• Optimized facility equipment routing to save energy
• Remote work/telecommuting wherever possible to reduce carbon emission caused by commuting
• Adherence to Lean principles to conserve resources and limit waste

WSI also participates in the Together for Sustainability Initiative, a global network led by 26 chemical companies that set the industry standard for social, environmental, and governance of chemical supply chains.

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