The transporter and storing solution of dangerous goods is looking for a long future in the Australian and New Zealand logistics industry.
Unless you work in logistics, you don’t really think about how dangerous goods—those that are flammable, oxidizing, alkaline, acids, or poisonous—are transported on a regular basis. But those cleaners and solvents have to get to you some way. The question is, how?
DGL would tell you it all filters down to one thing: safety.
“In our 15 year history, we have never compromised on safety, and we never will,” said John West, MD, and Owner/Partner.
DGL’s business is centred on delivering dangerous goods, so safety became the foundation of company culture. West shared that safety has to start from the top, giving the leaders the same type of training as the employees.
“You have to train people at both ends of the company, not just the people who are driving or loading for you. We encourage people to never take a risk. And we retrain and audit processes until people follow them. It’s all about learning and improving.”
DGL invests in training and would always like to invest more; all drivers are dangerous goods certified, even though it isn’t required for packaged goods . The company rarely employs contractors and is accountable for all of its own work, allowing it to control quality.
From Dangerous Goods to Logistics Powerhouse
This commitment to safety, as well as the company’s commitment to over 98.5 per cent on-time, in-full deliverable statistic and its 99.5 per cent compliance to its industry’s rules and regulations, are the driving factors behind its incredible growth and success since its humble beginnings in 2000. DGL—formerly Dangerous Goods Logistics— has grown over the years to employ around 500 people in Australia and New Zealand .
And what started as a company dedicated to the safe delivery of goods has also expanded its offerings to include transport of just about everything else, as well as all manner of warehouse logistics.
“We diversified because my background is in total warehousing,” said West. “We started in dangerous goods because we believed we could fill a gap in the market.”
Growth, both in its transportation and warehousing arms of the business, has been all word of mouth and reputation based. The diversification, as well as its continued goal of safety, has helped DGL do something very few companies can.
“We still have our original customer we started business with,” West shared. “We’ve actually maintained most of our customers, and we’re still working with many of our same suppliers.”
This is no more apparent than through Mack Truck and DGL’s relationship. Mack delivered its 150th truck for DGL on the company’s 15th anniversary.
“Our suppliers are incredibly important to our success. We’ve been with Mack Trucks since the beginning, and the majority of our fleet has been provided by them. I think that speaks volumes to our working relationship,” West shared.
Company Culture Impacting Employees and Clients
If you think DGL’s supplier relationships are good, just see how John West talks about his employees.
“I started unloading containers, and many of our managers started at the bottom the first few years DGL was in business. We are a family. We have several siblings and father/son teams on board. People work with me, not for me.”
“If you treat your people fairly, they will give you 100 percent.”
This level of commitment and compassion extends to clients as well. DGL is one of the few companies that says that if goods are damaged or lost, the company will pay for them. It’s a philosophy that exists for both the warehousing and transport businesses, and a risk that the company carries itself, rather than relying on an insurance company.
How DGL Is Moving Forward
A milestone like 15 years is a great time for a retrospective, and DGL will be celebrating with its long-serving staff in 2016. But DGL also understands the importance of keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry for the future.
As safety is the foundation of the company’s operations, DGL will continue to invest and improve their safety output. The target of zero harm is always on West’s mind, so he and his employees will aspire to reach this goal.
“Logistics is a huge industry,” West shared. “Anyone can get into transport, but to succeed you have to distinguish yourself from the competition. We believe our service levels are above what our competitors can achieve. We will continue to grow and develop to maintain our reputation in the market. With the leadership and management team we have, I believe we can do this.
“DGL has grown on its ethics and a commitment to what we promise to deliver,” West said. “It’s why we’ve been so successful these last 15 years, and will continue to contribute to our success going forward.”