A strong bond
Without adhesives, modern manufacturing in a broad array of industries and applications would be inconceivable. Klebchemie M.G. Becker GmbH & Co. KG has made a name for itself in this segment with its numerous innovations. A long-standing logistics partnership supports the growth of this medium-sized chemical company headquartered in Baden, Germany.
What would the world do without adhesives? The need to bond components and a variety of materials with one another is almost as old as humanity itself. While it used to be glue that held the world together, most of the adhesives used today are highly complex organic and inorganic compounds. The goal is to create permanent bonds whose strength and durability are precisely tailored to the application’s requirements. One specialist for such clearly defined permanent bonds, as well as for all manner of surface finishes, is based in Weingarten, near Karlsruhe. Klebchemie M.G. Becker GmbH & Co. KG is a high-tech chemical industry company that makes the well-known brand “Kleiberit.” With its approximately 670 employees around the world, this SME is a key supplier for many national and international manufacturers in a variety of industries, particularly in the wood and furniture industry, construction, automotive, and textiles.
All of Klebchemie’s research, development, and production is still done at the company headquarters in Weingarten. However, space there is limited, especially the space for storing raw materials and finished products. Klebchemie therefore urgently needed to outsource its manufacturing logistics to a reliable partner. DACHSER was the obvious choice. The logistics provider has built up considerable expertise in chemical logistics for palletized goods and pools its knowledge in this area in its specialized DACHSER Chem Logistics industry solution. DACHSER Malsch uses this expertise to develop customized services for companies in the region.
Opportunity knocks: The new hazardous materials warehouse
“We’ve been working with DACHSER for decades now, and have continually expanded the partnership over the years,” says Michael Dörflinger, Director Sourcing and Procurement at Klebchemie. “When the decision was made to build a new hazardous materials warehouse at DACHSER in Malsch, we took advantage of the opportunity.” Klebchemie was one of the first customers to move into the new warehouse, which commenced operations in 2019. The two companies began working closely with one another during the planning process to create the ideal conditions for both. DACHSER has been handling all of Klebchemie’s manufacturing logistics since spring 2019. The manufacturing site itself now has only a small buffer warehouse.
By outsourcing its logistics, Klebchemie can now focus completely on its core expertise. The process chain is clearly defined: all Klebchemie suppliers deliver their goods to the DACHSER hazardous materials warehouse in Malsch. The incoming goods inspection is done there, and DACHSER is also responsible for sampling. The raw materials are then transported the 31 kilometers to Klebchemie in Weingarten as needed. On working days, this requires between ten and twelve shuttle transports. “On the way back, we bring the finished products, some of which are received and stored in the DACHSER warehouse until a customer requests them,” says Florian Steinbrunn, Contract Logistics Manager at DACHSER in Malsch. The adhesive specialist regularly occupies as many as 10,000 pallet spaces in the hazardous materials warehouse, with some 2,400 different items. That’s about one-fifth of the warehouse’s total capacity.
"We have been able to establish a trusting cooperation with DACHSER.” Michael Dörflinger, Director Sourcing and Procurement at Klebchemie
From Malsch, DACHSER distributes the finished products to customers all over the world. Around 90 percent of them are industrial companies, while the remaining buyers operate in trade, specialist retail, and DIY. In Europe, Klebchemie’s strongest markets are Germany, Spain, and France, with 21 countries receiving their deliveries by land. DACHSER Air & Sea Logistics handles overseas shipment, with the US, China, Australia, Vietnam, and Brazil being the main buyers here. In 2020, Klebchemie sent a total of 16,000 shipments through DACHSER, weighing a total of around 54,000 metric tons.
The hazardous materials warehouse in Malsch implements all the relevant safety and storage regulations for the chemical industry using state-of-the-art technology, which was a key factor in the decision to enter into this comprehensive logistics partnership. Their procedures include automatically applying all global hazardous materials and dangerous goods regulations, ensuring consistent availability and use of cargo-securing equipment, and conducting mandatory vehicle and loading inspections, as well as DGR checks (in accordance with dangerous goods regulations for air transport). But when it comes to its partner’s commitment to security and quality, one aspect that is no less important to Klebchemie is the staff in Malsch, who are specially trained in the proper handling of hazardous materials. They also have to be flexible, as new items that may be subject to additional requirements are regularly sent in for storage.
“The work involved for a customer like Klebchemie is very demanding and dynamic, so we are all the more pleased that we’ve been able to continually improve the quality of our joint work processes over the years,” says Bernd Großmann, General Manager European Logistics at DACHSER in Malsch. One example is the delivery of raw materials for Klebchemie at the hazardous materials warehouse. In the beginning, some days would see suppliers lined up to deliver their goods to the warehouse, while other days it was completely empty. “Now, freight forwarders can reserve fixed time slots for deliveries to our hazardous materials warehouse. That resolved a lot of bottlenecks and improved efficiency,” explains Steven Croissant, Sales Manager at DACHSER in Malsch.
“In addition to high reliability and quality awareness, flexibility is particularly important to us,” stresses Dörflinger. “We have an obligation to our customers, so it can also happen that we have to request raw materials from the warehouse at short notice to get them delivered more or less immediately. Our partnership with DACHSER gives us this option.” If necessary, a truck can also come to Klebchemie in Weingarten on a Saturday to pick up finished products and make space in the small warehouse there. “Having a good relationship with our logistics provider is important to us; we see the two companies as a team working together for the same goal,” Dörflinger says. “We were able to build up a trusted collaboration with DACHSER.” Großmann adds, “We worked with Klebchemie to develop a fully integrated solution with tightly interconnected processes and highly functional interfaces. This is a perfect example of chemistry logistics.”