The breadth and depth of our competencies, resources and specialist skills in this challenging sector have earned Imperial the reputation as the leading logistics partner for the chemical industry. We pride ourselves in forging strong, transparent business partnerships with clients in this sector and we have long-standing relationships with many global chemical and energy leaders – relationships that have developed into collaborative partnerships.

With more than four decades of experience, Imperial boasts an extensive range of chemical logistics services that is unmatched by other logistics specialists. Our capabilities in chemical logistics span road, river, air and ocean transportation management, warehousing and distribution management and our unrivalled logistics solutions to the chemical and energy industries also include planning and consulting, intermediate bulk container (IBC) and tank cleaning, onsite services, import and export logistics.

We are uniquely positioned to manage the entire chemical supply chain - from importing raw materials by different modes of transport, including customs clearance, to warehousing concepts for dangerous substances and distribution services, and even the export operations for clients’ chemical products. Our range of solutions is complemented by value-add solutions such as intermediate bulk container and tank cleaning operations at our own facilities designed for this purpose.

We leverage the diverse and expansive expertise of the Imperial group to optimise our solutions to chemical clients and we adhere to the most stringent health, safety, security and environmental (HSSE) practices. We maintain the highest standards in terms of quality, the environment, health and safety in our chemical logistics activities.

Imperial has extensive experience in transporting bulk petroleum fuels, bulk liquid gas and packaged chemical products by road. Our expertise in chemical logistics also encompasses liquid disposal services. In southern Africa, we leverage a vast depot network and infrastructure that has been optimised to ensure coverage of all the major routes.

Imperial has made substantial investments in high-tech dangerous goods warehousing, to meet the needs of clients in the chemicals industry. Our dangerous goods warehouses feature temperature control and the latest safety-enhancing technology, including automatic fire floors, resistant floor coating for leakage and fire-fighting water retention, gas warning systems, technical ventilation to avoid high risk air mixes, explosion protection and CO2 fire extinguishing systems.

This industry contributed c.14% to group revenue in the 2020 financial year. Despite a negative growth rate, a strong pipeline of new business is in place - with a contract renewal rate in excess of 85%.

While China is expected to become the world leader in production and consumption of chemicals, many commodity chemical companies have to cope with feedstock price volatility, supply chain and logistics challenges and unpredictable customer demand. The industry is accordingly investigating alternatives to the sector's reliance on inputs from China-based suppliers.

COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains differently across manufacturing plants and distribution networks all over the world. The global chemical production declined by 3,3% in March 2020 and a further 1,3% in April 2020 due to the effects of the pandemic. Several European countries had among the largest production decreases during April and May 2020.

The chemical industry is focusing more on green logistics and stricter compliance, which creates opportunities for Imperial. However, our significant exposure to the agrochemicals market provided resilience to our performance and negated some of the negative impacts listed above.

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