Transportation and Storage

Our regulations and measures for transportation and warehouse safety cover the delivery of raw materials, the storage and distribution of chemical products among BASF sites and customers, and the transportation of waste from our sites to the disposal facilities.

The graphic depicts the different stations along the value chain. The topics in each chapter address the station shown in dark blue. (here: Suppliers, BASF, Customers) (graphic)


  • Risk minimization along the entire transportation chain

We want our products to be safely loaded, transported, handled and stored. This is why we depend on reliable logistics partners, global standards and an effective organization. Our goal is to minimize risks along the entire transportation chain – from loading and transportation to unloading. Some of our guidelines for the transportation of dangerous goods go above and beyond national and international dangerous goods requirements. We have defined global guidelines and requirements for the storage of our products and regularly monitor compliance with these.

Accident prevention and emergency response

  • Risk assessments for transportation and storage

We regularly assess the safety and environmental risks of transporting and storing raw materials and sales products with high hazard potential using our global guideline. This is based on the guidelines of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). We also have binding global standards for load safety.

We stipulate worldwide requirements for our logistics service providers and assess them in terms of safety and quality. Our experts use our own evaluation and monitoring tools as well as internationally approved schemes.

Transportation incidents

We are systematically implementing our measures to improve transportation safety. We report in particular on goods spillages that could lead to significant environmental impacts such as dangerous goods leaks of BASF products in excess of 200 kilograms on public transportation routes, provided BASF arranged the transport.

We recorded three incidents in 2018 with spillage of more than 200 kilograms of dangerous goods (2017: 3). None of these transportation incidents had a significant impact on the environment (2017: 0).

Raw materials supply challenges due to low Rhine River

The low water levels on the Rhine River in 2018 impacted logistics at the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Under normal conditions, around 40% of incoming volumes are transported to the site by ship. This makes the Rhine the most important transportation route for incoming raw materials. As far as possible, we replaced transportation by ship with alternatives such as rail and truck while the Rhine was low. We are working on an overarching concept to make the site more resilient to long periods of low water and are investigating various measures, including selectively expanding on-site tank capacities or switching to ships better suited to low water levels. We intend to implement the first measures in 2019.

Activities in external networks

We are actively involved in external networks, which quickly provide information and assistance in emergencies. These include the International Chemical Environmental (ICE) initiative and the German Transport Accident Information and Emergency Response System (TUIS), in which BASF plays a coordinating role. In 2018, we provided assistance to other companies in 145 cases worldwide (2017: 178). We apply the experience we have gathered to set up similar systems in other countries: For example, we intensified our activities in India in 2018.