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Oliver Oestreich

Dangerous goods logistics is a question of trust. Interview with Oliver Oestreich - Part II.

A few days ago, I met with Oliver Oestreich, COO of the Leschaco Group, to discuss current challenges in dangerous goods logistics. The first part was about developments in specialty chemicals, globalization, logistics software and important certificates for logisticians. The second part is all about knowledge management, battery logistics and the future market of waste logistics.

Nothing becomes outdated faster than the knowledge of security.

Michael Kausch

What does Leschaco do to ensure that the necessary specialist knowledge for dangerous goods logistics is always up to date?

Oliver Oestreich

The most important thing is that our employees undergo continuous training. Nothing becomes outdated faster than the knowledge of security. This is no different for logistics requirements than it is for IT security.
On the other hand, of course, it is about regional knowledge. Our competence centers in the regions with local dangerous goods specialists ensure that all dangerous goods processes are seamlessly monitored using our own software. These specialists are always also communication experts. They are responsible for communication with local authorities, supply chain partners and the Leschaco network. They take all regional regulations into account. No one today can have all the regulations that apply anywhere in the world in their head. In South America, there are sometimes different country-specific safety regulations for transportation by truck, rail or inland waterway than in Europe or Asia. This does not necessarily mean that one region is better than the other. They just regulate certain things differently.

Michael Kausch

What role do customers play in this safety network for dangerous goods logistics?

Oliver Oestreich

You raise a very important point. Safety is only possible if the entire logistics chain has a high safety standard, from the labeling of the goods and their packaging and loading, to transport and unloading. That is why we train and advise our customers on all dangerous goods and waste issues, such as classification, packaging, labeling and documentation.

Michael Kausch

On waste issues? Do you operate waste logistics? I thought Leschaco only dealt with the transportation of goods. Is Leschaco also a “waste disposal company”?

Oliver Oestreich

No, Leschaco is of course not a waste disposal company. But the disposal of hazardous goods also begins with their labeling, packaging and safe transport to final disposal or destruction. Our International Waste Logistic Department, the Leschaco IWLD, is very familiar with the relevant regulations and procedures for waste disposal, such as the Basel Convention of 1989, which defines clear rules of conduct for controlling the transboundary movement of hazardous waste and its disposal.
Leschaco’s IWLD manages and organizes cross-border transports of commercial and industrial waste. We handle the transportation, including the import and export of hazardous residual materials, and select the appropriate mode of transport depending on the specific requirements.

Wait a minute Mr. Kausch – come to think of it, maybe we are a waste disposal company after all. Somehow you’re right. After all, we relieve our customers of the worries associated with the safe and legally compliant disposal of waste. However, if a company would prefer to carry out this work itself, we will of course provide support in preparing the necessary documents. A clearly defined documentation procedure ensures the transparency of transport processes. The Leschaco Group’s waste logistics specialists also take care of the accompanying exchange of information with authorities, service providers, customers and their partners. Our customers should concentrate on their core competencies. We then clear away the garbage. Sure, with our waste logistics specialists, i.e. our waste disposal companies.

Michael Kausch

I can imagine that this is an extremely exciting market for the future.

Battery logistics is waste logistics and hazardous goods logistics.

Oliver Oestreich

You are absolutely right. We see waste logistics as one of the most exciting markets of the future. Take the area of battery logistics, for example. The electrification of private transportation will massively increase the demand for lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries in the coming years. The global production volume of lithium-ion batteries alone will increase ninefold to around 9 TWh by 2030. As a rule, these batteries must be recycled after ten years at the latest. There are currently hardly any logistical solutions for used batteries. According to the Basel Convention, they are waste and their transportation and overall handling require complex approval procedures. Battery logistics is also waste logistics and hazardous goods logistics. Only a few can do that. We can do that.

Michael Kausch

In waste logistics, it is already clear that the term safety is ambiguous: it is usually not just about safety from accidents and safety for people and the environment in the event of accidents, but always also about safety in the sense of sustainable environmental and health protection. The abbreviation “HSEQ” is often used in this context. What exactly is behind this magic word?

Oliver Oestreich

HSEQ stands for Health, Safety, Environment and Quality, i.e. health care, safety, environmental protection and quality management. These are all qualitative dimensions of sustainable management. The aim is always to provide optimum protection for people and the environment, both today and for future generations. HSEQ is not a standard that is achieved once. However, this is not just a non-binding goal. HSEQ is rather a whole bundle of concrete measures and a strategic guideline on which we move forward and further develop our company, our business and our technologies.

In addition to the integrated quality and environmental management systems ISO 9001 and 14001, the areas of safety, health and ethics are becoming increasingly important to us. Today, they are an inseparable part of our corporate activities and the basis for the provision of sophisticated services worldwide, at all levels and in all departments of the company.

Our sustainability management has been awarded silver status by EcoVadis, an independent agency for evaluating the CSR performance of companies. With this result, Leschaco is one of the top 30 percent of companies rated worldwide by EcoVadis. More than 90,000 companies from more than 160 countries and 200 sectors have been evaluated so far. But one thing is also clear: silver is good, but not the end of the medal podium. We want to and will continue to develop in this area.

As you can see: Safety is a small but incredibly important component of our corporate philosophy. This is not just any feature or an isolated goal or even a sales argument. Somehow everything at Leschaco revolves around safety. Constantly.

Michael Kausch

Then we will certainly meet again in a few months for another discussion.

Oliver Oestreich

You better meet my successor Nils Fahrenholz in a few months. In April, he will take over my role as COO in the management of the Leschaco Group. After more than twenty great years at Leschaco, I am retiring. By the way, Nils Fahrenholz is already on board and is familiarizing himself intensively. Safety is just as important to him as it is to me. They meet him “with certainty”.

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