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2023 Shipper of Choice profile: BASF Corp.

The Shipper of Choice award, presented by FreightWaves in partnership with TriumphPay, recognizes the manufacturers, distributors and retailers that do the best job of keeping the American economy moving by fighting driver detention, providing accessible facilities and understanding what it takes to remove inefficiencies from the supply chain.

Among the top 25 Shippers of Choice for 2023 is … BASF Corp.

Florham Park, New Jersey-based BASF Corp. is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical producer.

BASF Corp. has 11 divisions grouped into six segments: chemicals, materials, industrial solutions, surface technologies, nutrition and care, and agricultural solutions.

About BASF

North American headquarters: Florham Park, New Jersey
2022 Global sales: €87.3 billion
2022 Global net income: €6.9 billion
2022 North American sales: €24.3 billion ($25.7 billion)
Shipper of Choice history: First appearance

Why BASF Corp. is a Shipper of Choice

For a company to be successful for 158 years, as BASF has, positive shipper-carrier relationships are a necessity. And over the last several years, the company has been looking to step up its game.

“We were thrilled when we won the Shipper of Choice award, because we have been doing a lot specifically in this area, and winning was a recognition of our work,” BASF Director, Logistics Procurement for North America Michael Vogt told FreightWaves.

“As a shipper, when the market’s tight, we want carriers to want to do business with BASF and we don’t want to have to pay a premium for that to happen.”

To help make that happen, Vogt, who is responsible for roughly 400,000 loads a year, has overseen a variety of programs aimed at being more shipper friendly and more focused on truck drivers’ time while on site.

For example, at two massive manufacturing sites on the Gulf Coast — Freeport, Texas, and Geismar, Louisiana — BASF has created drop yards outside plant security. This allows drivers to pick up trailers just outside the main gates and save time by bypassing the required — and sometimes lengthy — security process to enter the site.

At BASF’s Wyandotte, Michigan, facility, the drop yard is actually inside the gate. “So for those local drivers we have a fast-pass program, where once they’ve gone through the security and safety qualification process they’re issued a contractor badge so they can then bypass security, because they now have access to the yard but in a secure way,” Vogt explained.

“We recognize that drivers make more money when they’re out driving versus sitting earning detention dollars, so we want to get them on their way and not burning up their hours of service.”

On a carrier level, BASF “score-cards” its core carriers and has regular dialogues with them to work out issues that come up and get ahead of others.

“It’s a back and forth,” Vogt said. “If there are bright spots on the card we want to give them credit, but if there are blemishes we want to talk about improvements. And it’s a two-way street, because those blemishes might be because of something falling short on our side. This gives us a chance on a management level to make changes to our operations to ensure a smooth logistics flow.”

Recognizing the receiver

Being a shipper of choice is evolving for BASF, Vogt pointed out, in that it recognizes there are three parties involved in the movement of goods: shipper, carrier and receiver.

“If a driver is giving us feedback saying, ‘Hey, every time I go to your receiver customer X we’re getting held up,’ we’ll try to address the problem directly with that particular customer through our sales team,” he said.

“We recognize that even if we’re a great shipper to work with, if the receiver is a destination that drivers don’t want to go to, that doesn’t help us. We want to make our customers be a pleasure for our carriers to do business with as well.”

About Shipper of Choice partner TriumphPay

TriumphPay is the transportation industry’s premier payment network, trusted by leading shippers, brokers, factors and carriers. Its innovative and highly automated fintech payment solution brings cost savings and efficiencies to antiquated transportation payment processes for network participants. Integrated financing options leverage the strength of TriumphPay’s parent bank and can provide liquidity and cash flow visibility.

TriumphPay is a division of Triumph Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFIN).

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