Allcargo Logistics' safety practices and processes are the foundation of the global leader's excellent track record in cargo movement
Be it the movement of a container with hazardous chemicals across continents, or the transporting of an oversized consignment across the length of the country, it is the safety practices and processes that ensure the smooth execution of a tough job.
And when it's not just the value of the consignment, but the priceless reputation of Fortune 500 companies and top MNCs involved, it is only apt that they put their trust in a logistics company that understands what it takes to get the job done, and done perfectly.
At Allcargo Logistics, the global leader in LCL consolidation and India's largest integrated private sector logistics solutions provider, safety is fundamental to all operations and every measure is taken to safeguard the assignment at every stage. Allcargo's Quality Health Safety and Security Environment (QHSSE) procedures set the benchmark for policies in these areas, with processes tailored exclusively for the needs of different customers and industries. From handling over-dimensional cargo and heavy equipment to moving automobiles and storing chemicals, the logistics major has its best-in-class safety processes to deliver flawless service to its clients.
The core of the safety function involves rigorous training, ensuring compliance with safety regulations, adoption of best practices across the organisation and the heightened awareness of all stakeholders. These best practices are wide ranging and cover people, equipment and processes.
The safety team is at the heart of all operations. "Our vision is zero incidents," explains Lt Col Sanjay Srivastava (retd), safety head, projects and engineering division of Allcargo Logistics. To achieve this, the company organises continuous training. "Our training average is 1.74 man days per year, which is the highest in our sector," he adds.
Allcargo is the largest Projects and Engineering Solutions company in India and its expertise has helped even its customers grow. The company provides an integrated logistics solution to customers with its fleet of owned equipment, that includes cranes (crawler and tyre-mounted), hydraulic axels, flat and low-bed trailers, fork lifts and reach stackers. This equipment is loaded with latest technology and hi-tech features, including anti-collision devices, variable drives, smart SLI and remote diagnostic capabilities that help monitor crane performance and identify faults. The equipment undergoes stringent maintenance programmes, ensuring reliability and safety at all times.
Allcargo manages a wide range of projects at sites across India, ranging from oil and gas to wind energy. All the sites across India are divided into four zones, and each is looked after by a dedicated safety in-charge, with safety supervisors at sites implementing the safety policies and best practices.
One critical area for the group is over-dimensional cargo (ODC) movement, which takes special safety measures to ensure smooth movement. They include technical route survey, studying load carrying capacity of roads and bridges enroute, method statement of movement of cargo, permissions from authorities, equipment inspection and certification, hazard identification and risk assessment, contingency plans, inspection of lashing, daily tool box talks, speed monitoring and more.
Similarly, for movement of hazardous cargo, there are additional levels of safety. "We first ensure that both man and machine, are fit to handle such cargo," says Lt Col Srivastava. "Haz-mat handling training is done by external experts. We also ensure all statutory compliances are done well in advance for the vehicles involved so that we are sure that the vehicles are able to handle such cargo."
Allcargo, a leader in Container Freight Service (CFS), has state-of-the-art, strategically-located, IT-enabled and 100 per cent pilferage-proof CFS and Inland Container Depot (ICD) facilities. Allcargo has identified the need for technology to play its part in ensuring that safety of personnel, property and cargo is paramount and to that effect has initiated path breaking RFID technology that helps in continuous visibility of the container when in the CFS/ ICD.
Head of operations Arun Adak points out that Allcargo is compliant with all security requirements set up by agencies such as US Customs and Border Protection, which have stringent norms under its Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT).
Allcargo has secured Global Security Verification (GSV) certifications for the facilities at Chennai, Nhava Sheva and Mundra. This certification involves a detailed scrutiny of all documents and controls in place at the site. Allcargo is also applying for World Customs Organisation certification. "We have applied for an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification for all five sites in India," says Mr Adak.
It's mandatory for all employees to attend the fire-fighting mock drill and safety trainings, at least once in a quarter. "The presence of representatives from various vendors - security, labour, surveyors, housekeeping, drivers, canteen, equipment operators, etc. is mandatory in these monthly trainings," says Lalitendu Mohanty, general manager at Mundra CFS, adding that besides the CCTV coverage, the entire facility has public address system that helps in monitoring and controlling the safety guidelines in the Customs Notified Area.
Containers with hazardous materials are also handled at the CFS strictly as per the IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) code. Periodic exams and external-party audits ensure that the staff is adept at handling hazmat. Innovation in ensuring compliance has led to each operation person being equipped with a HAZMAT handling card which is a ready-reckoner for the safe stacking of hazardous materials.
The safety focus translates into extensive training of all personnel including vendors. "We ask vendors to do a thorough police verification of the background of their employees working in our units," Mr Adak points out. "We also provide training every month, conduct frequent mock drills, first-aid programmes and toolbox meetings".
Allcargo recognises that awareness of workspace environment is critical in safe execution of the job and encourages all its staff to perform the roles of safety officers.
Allcargo has an elaborate safety implementation plan across the organisation. Besides the routine safety measures, annual exercises like Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA) and quality, competency and safety audit for crew and equipment are held annually.
In the rare case that an incident occurs, Allcargo has a clearly defined approach to it. "We face issues with contractor management," says Mr Adak, adding that "independent auditors have pointed out that there is scope for fine-tuning the standard operating procedures for contractors. We are working to put these in place."
As industries collaborate and businesses grow, safety and compliance have emerged as core deliverables, along with efficiency. Allcargo has been continuously upgrading its safety standards to ensure no fatality and maximum security.
Operating from strategically located warehouses of over two million square feet, just 16 km off JNPT, Allcargo's marquee chemical-manufacturing clients rely on it for safe and compliant services. Some of the features of the world-class facility are: