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Interview: Digitalisation of the supply chain in the chemical industry

Oct 19, 2023 , Author: Sandra Sparenberg


Supply chains are highly complex structures in the global economy and are influenced by many criteria such as customs regulations, trade embargoes, raw material shortages, but also changing climate conditions and dynamic market developments. In addition, demanding customer requirements, the need for flexible solutions, pressure to optimise cost structures and sustainability requirements pose permanent challenges for supply chain management in the chemical industry. Find out how Haltermann Carless deals with this and what investments the chemical company is making to offer its customers modern and reliable supply chain solution. An interview with Florenz Treschau.


Three pillars for the supply chain in the chemical industry

HCS Group, which also includes the Haltermann Carless, ETS Racing Fuels and Electrical Oil Services (EOS) brands, combines expertise in specialty and petrochemicals, providing tailored and sustainable hydrocarbon solutions to local and global blue chip companies in Mobility, Energy, Industrial, Life Science. Founded in 2011, the company has grown from a small, European-focused organisation into a medium-sized global player serving a variety of industries with very specific supply chain requirements. The company relies on three pillars for its logistics: Customer focus, flexibility and innovative solutions through digitalisation.


"To ensure safe and efficient supply chains, chemical industry managers need to understand their customers and remain adaptive." 

Florenz Treschau

As Senior Vice President Supply Chain Management Florenz Treschau is responsible for the group-wide planning and control of the value chains as well as all logistics activities of the HCS Group, including Haltermann Carless, ETS Racing Fuels and Electrical Oil Services (EOS). His focus is on the development and implementation of future-oriented and digital supply chain strategies and concepts.



Six questions on supply chain management to Florenz Treschau

Mr Treschau, you are responsible for the global and group-wide supply chain activities of the chemical company HCS Group. For your customers in the automotive, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, but also in the motorsport sector, on-time, secure and reliable deliveries are essential. What challenges do you face on a daily basis?

Treschau: Our daily challenges are of course also based on global political and economic conditions, but mainly on the needs and requirements of our customers. Punctual deliveries are crucial for our customers.

Our high-purity solvents, for example, are important carriers in the production of active ingredients in the pharmaceutical industry. A delay in delivery can, in the worst case, lead to production downtimes - which is fatal for the manufacture of drugs and the people who need them. We also have to deliver our racing fuels on time, because they are used directly on site at the race. An unpunctual delivery can counteract an entire event with all its preparations and costs.

What delivery promise can you make to your demanding customers?

Treschau: Our flexibility enables us to deliver on time to our customers worldwide in 90 countries, through an international transport network with partners in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America and by using all modes of transport such as road, rail, inland waterways, sea and air freight. Depending on our customer's demands, we continuously develop new delivery concepts and sometimes take exceptional paths. This already starts with the delivery quantity: Haltermann Carless' largest delivery volume to date of 15 million litres in an ocean-going vessel is matched by 0.15 litres of reference fuel as the smallest delivery unit.

How can the supply chain in the chemical industry ensure reliable delivery of goods?

Treschau: We are strongly focused on our customers, understand their needs and are able to offer flexible and customised solutions - from the means of transport to the delivery quantity or the packaging method. We have also focused on diversity when it comes to raw materials. We work with different suppliers in order to remain as resilient as possible - our strategy has paid off in recent years with many successful examples. This flexibility and the willingness to continuously strive for improvement make us seek out new ideas, concepts and strategies. We are ready to change for our customers and are willing to learn wherever necessary.


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How do you intend to make your supply chains fit for the future?

Treschau: As I have already mentioned, to become more efficient it is important to remain open-minded and to recognise and implement opportunities for improvement. Strategic cooperations are ideally suited to further grow and optimise your own potential. We rely on strong partners in our supply chain who, with their technological and market-specific know-how, help us to optimise our processes, implement new efficient concepts and provide us with access to, for example, new transport companies and global market data. In this way, we are able to align and permanently adapt our supply chain management to the needs of our customers and future needs.

What role does digitalisation play in your supply chain?

Treschau: Digitalisation is one of the factors that determine whether you can remain competitive and provide your customers with all the information around the order quickly and transparently. For us, digitalisation is a key priority, which we are implementing thoroughly. It enables us to ensure a fast, safe and more efficient supply chain. It allows us to react more quickly to risks and to maintain an even closer dialogue with our customers.

To name just one example, we have implemented the tracking of deliveries by sea with our partner project44. As a result, we can now track 95% of our overseas containers via a digital supply chain platform and see in real time where the goods are at present and when they are expected to arrive at their destination. In case of delays, we can immediately and proactively inform our customers. This offers our customers more precise traceability and thus greater planning security.

Furthermore, we have introduced the so-called 'time slot booking'. It allows trucks to be dispatched on time, thus they do not have to wait long for their loading or unloading. This is a real benefit in terms of sustainability and saves a lot of time and costs for everyone in the supply chain.

What are your supply chain trends for the future?

Treschau: The demands on global supply chains in the chemical industry are becoming more complex and demanding. In the future, we will focus even more on digitalisation, data networking and transparency in our supply chain. This will also take us a big step forward in the area of sustainable supply chains and offer our customers significant added value in terms of punctuality, transparency and planning reliability. 




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Topics: Supply Chain

Author: Sandra Sparenberg

Author: Sandra Sparenberg

Sandra Sparenberg is Head of Corporate & Marketing Communications at HCS Group and is responsible for the company's strategic communications, including press relations and sales communications for the Haltermann Carless, ETS Racing Fuels and Electrical Oil Services (EOS) brands. One focus of her work is the development of online communications and Inbound Marketing. T +49 69 695 386 117 E-mail


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