Through shared experience and expertise, Toll and Linde jointly delivered a solution that has improved the productivity of supply chain operations in Southeast Asia – increasing payloads by 90 per cent.
With presence in more than 100 countries, Linde is a world-leading gases and engineering company. Linde places significant importance on partnering with businesses that share its strategic priorities – in particular, a shared focus on industry-leading safety and compliance.
For its Malaysia-Thailand operations, Linde requires a logistics partner with the fleet, expertise and regional knowledge to support its cylinder supply chain between the two countries– in addition to understanding the customs clearance requirements, transporting dangerous goods internationally requires specific certifications and trained personnel.
The cylinder product that needs to be transported is acetylene – a gas most commonly used in combination with oxygen as fuel for cutting and welding steel. Acetylene is an extremely flammable gas and is classified as a hazardous substance; it needs to be dissolved in acetone and contained in specialised cylinders to be transported safely.
Working with regional teams from Thailand and Malaysia, Toll assessed the scope of Linde’s logistics requirements and developed a three-part solution comprising dedicated vehicles, personnel and fit-for-purpose equipment designed to maximise efficiency.
A fleet of prime movers with 45-foot long trailers – with a team of operators qualified to handle and transport dangerous goods – was selected to transport the empty cylinders by road from Malaysia to Thailand, including transhipment at the Thai-Malaysian border filled with product and brought back along the same route into Malaysia for distribution.
Turning their minds to additional improvements to Linde’s acetylene supply chain, the Toll project team considered the design of vehicles being used to transport the cylinders. While there was no a simple way to make the trucks larger, the team realised the possibility to increase their payload by redesigning the pallets used to carry the cylinders.
Toll worked collaboratively with Linde and Symphony, an engineering company, to alter the size and the configuration of the pallets to enable more cylinders to be transported in a single trip. The new pallet design – which is based on those being used by Toll’s Australia-based road freight operations and adapted to suit vehicles used in Asia – improved the payload of each vehicle by 90%.
Extensive testing was conducted to ensure the new pallets met Linde and Toll’s strict safety and compliance standards; as well as ensuring structural integrity and ease of loading, the team needed to confirm that the cylinders could be safely secured to the pallets with load restraints.
To further ensure the safe roll out of the revamped pallets, Toll enrolled its local drivers in a thorough transport safety training program – provided by Linde – a month prior to the launch. The safety training gave the operators the chance to practice loading vehicles with freight on the new pallets while being observed by a supervisor.
Toll proved that innovation can be realised without costly research and development, or significant capital investment for new technology and applications. Teams of people across Toll’s global operations were able to share valuable in-house knowledge to develop a supply chain solution for Linde that significantly improved productivity.
The Toll team successfully produced more than 200 new pallets in just 60 days, and approved the roll out into Linde’s operational environment after performing extensive safety tests to confirm structural integrity and functionality of load restraints.
And in addition to working collaboratively with Linde in Asia, the Toll team effectively utilised the industry and customer-specific knowledge they knew existed within Toll, by collaborating with account managers who handle industrial gas logistics for Linde’s business in Australia.
This project saw the Toll team discover a way to not only provide safe transit for the gas cylinders, but also halved the number of required trips This reduces the amount of time operators spend on the road , thereby lowering the risk of incidents.
Toll is currently working with Linde to further improve safety in both organisations. A Linde transport safety programme governing delivery fleet and road safety, which mandates for in-cabin camera and on-board computer technology to be installed in all trucks involved in its operations, is being rolled out to dedicated Toll vehicles that transport acetylene cylinders for Linde.
“We appreciate the effort and commitment Toll has put into making the cross-border transportation of acetylene a workable reality for Linde – even in the face of a relatively short lead time to implement a solution, you were able to provide a reliable and safe passage of Linde’s cylinders to and from Thailand.
“The responsiveness and dedication you have demonstrated, seeing through each and every sub-component of this logistical undertaking, have enabled us to achieve our business priorities in efficient and safe supply chain operations. It is a significant milestone for Linde, and I trust it would be for Toll as well.”
– Mr Jamil Helweh, Head of Cylinder Supply Change Management, Linde Malaysia
“This project is an excellent example of Toll’s capacity to collaborate with a key customer is Asia to deliver an innovative, safe and cost effective solution with a focus on continuous improvement (CI). The efforts of our team have translated into substantial benefits for Linde’s operations, and our own.
“Building our relationship with Linde over the last seven years is a shining example of how Toll has passed on the benefits of our global operations and CI values to a prominent industrial gas customer in Asia.
“We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve our relationship with Linde, and our presence in the region, in the future.”
– Mr Albert Davison, General Manager of Business Development
Global Logistics - Head Office