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 light 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 traffic routes, provided BASF arranged the transport.

We recorded three incidents in 2019 with spillage of more than 200 kilograms of dangerous goods1 (2018: 3). None of these transportation incidents had a significant impact on the environment (2018: 0).

Securing raw materials supply via the Rhine River

At the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, around 40% of incoming volumes are transported to the site by ship under normal conditions. In 2018, logistics were impacted by the low water levels on the Rhine River caused by the hot and dry summer. We are implementing various measures to make the site more resilient to extended low water events. For instance, we are involved in creating an early warning system for low water, have chartered ships that can navigate low water levels, are investing in making loading stations more flexible, and are additionally developing our own type of ship together with partners. BASF is also a co-signatory of the German Federal Ministry of Transport’s “Low water on the Rhine” action plan, which aims to improve shipping conditions on the Rhine over the coming years with various measures. We recorded no extended low water events 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 2019, we provided assistance to other companies in 165 cases worldwide (2018: 145). We apply the experience we have gathered to set up similar systems in other countries. Since 2019, external experts such as the public fire services or other emergency responders can consult our systems for information on the detection of chemical substances in the human body. This “human biomonitoring” can be used to determine and evaluate whether and what amount of chemical substances have been absorbed by the human body during a rescue operation. It can be used to test and verify the efficacy of safety measures taken and of safety equipment, which is of particular importance for the health protection of emergency responders. Our experts provide assistance in evaluating whether human biomonitoring is feasible in a specific case, and in selecting the target substances to be tested, as well as appropriate sampling methods including transport and storage of samples.

1 Hazardous goods are classified in accordance with national and international hazardous goods regulations.