The TCR insights bring together companies that make use of Transport and Logistics services, with the aim of strengthening the Customer-Carrier relationship, focusing on transparency, knowledge of potential risk factors, on the sharing of values such as quality, road safety, eco-sustainability, social responsibility.
We talked about it with the President, Alessandro Ferri.
Dr. Ferri, the TCR insights aim to evaluate the reliability criteria of those who provide transport and logistics services. What are the advantages for the customer and how is it going down with the transporters? Do you see a positive impact for them too?
There is an undoubted advantage for customer companies, because thanks to this tool it is possible to know the level of quality and reliability of service providers in detail. Through the analysis and evaluation of parameters that meet the criteria of ethics, eco-sustainability and social sustainability, it is actually possible to have a concrete understanding of the “state of health” of the transport companies, i.e. each one’s level of compliance with the pillars contained in the control protocol that the certifier puts in place.
Today there is a great deal of attention paid to the messages that each product conveys, either directly or indirectly, in terms of quality and sustainability. Just think, for example, about the food sector, which gives great importance to the selection of raw materials, but also to the safety of the processing and sustainability of the packaging. Instead, transport, which is the final step in industrial production and the only one that binds producer and consumer, is unfortunately the weak link of the entire process. While the information relating to the product and its quality and the ethical compliance of the entire process is very clear up to the respecting of the rights of the worker, giving the consumer a clear vision of the control of the entire supply chain, there is not the slightest shred of information pertaining to transport and logistics.
The insights allow the monitoring and evaluation of corporate quality and sustainability objectives in a concrete and compliant manner.
In fact, the audit reveals any strengths and weaknesses that also make it possible to evaluate suppliers who comply with the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policies and orientation that companies give themselves to monitor the last mile through the transport service.
But the protocol is equally important for the transporter, because from the audit he can identify the areas for improvement which need to be worked on to be within the minimum safety parameters. It is important to know that the protocol does not give clear-cut answers, there is no yes or no, no green or red light for companies. Rather, it is an articulated and complex evaluation that comes from the analysis of eight control pillars, all of which have a social, ecological and eco-sustainable impact. The certifier's summaries are therefore not an absolute judgement, but evaluate the level of alignment of each transport company to each of these parameters. The strengths, but also the weaknesses, will be known to both the transporter and the customer, who will then be able to work together to enhance or realign the parameters deemed the most important.
In short, evaluation is an opportunity for the transporter to improve and cultivate the relationship with the customer, but also an opportunity to make their value known to other companies, competing in an honest way, not only on price, but on standards of quality and excellence.
The TCR evaluates transport and logistics companies according to an international model. What are the distinctive criteria that lead you to define an honest company? How have you defined the evaluation criteria?
The protocol is based on eight parameters. The organisation and structure of the company; product safety, which means how the product is handled during transportation and the stages that are the responsibility of the carrier; workplace safety; respect for the environment, and in this sense the age of the vehicles in the fleet, the average euro class and whether the company invests in vehicles with low CO2 and particulate emissions, such as methane gas or bio methane tractors, are very important; road safety, which means evaluating the company's behaviour with respect to a whole series of parameters ranging from the correct use of the tachograph and compliance with driving and rest hours to active / passive safety technologies for driving aids present on board the vehicles to assist the driver; insurance coverage, which may have an impact on the transporter, but also on the customer if not adequate for the type of product being transported; the use of technologies in general on vehicles and corporate integrity and reputation.
These eight parameters allow a company to be evaluated as being TCR model compliant. It is not simply a question of asking eight questions, however. An extremely complex evaluation protocol emerges from these criteria, which includes both very technical parts and parts with an implication that we could define as ethical. The evaluation criteria are not absolute, however, but are dynamic, born from the experience and dialogue between the members of the insights themselves. If today, in view of the type of participating companies, we are very close to food transport, the sector currently probably under the most stress by controls and rules, we would like, for example, petrochemical, cement, chemical or manufacturing companies to join the insights in order to integrate the parameters more broadly and in line with the required checks of the various sectors, relying on an experience that is certainly different from that of the food sector. Our goal is that the base of the insights widens even more to become representative of all sectors, so that the same evaluation criteria can be even more comprehensive.
You certainly have a privileged observation point. In your opinion, at this particular historical moment, what are the pressures that need to be addressed in order to raise the quality of the service offered and what is important to focus on in order to restart?
In part, I’ve already answered you. The driving principle of good transport for us is expressed by the parameters that are evaluated by the insights themselves.
Today there are those who define the rules for transport and those who are in charge of checking them, in other words, The Ministry of Transport through the expression of its Register and the legislature, and police forces located throughout the territory. In between are us customers and transporters.
When the transporter is considered to have broken the rules, and is therefore fined, it is not only he who pays the consequences, both the transport company and the customer get involved in the process. And it can apply to minor offences, such as the incorrect filling in of documents, fines for speeding or transported weight, up to much wider problems, such as illegal recruitment, offshoring, and scams, which have serious implications for the reputation and visibility of customer companies. This is why I believe that a reliability assessment system is a valuable element for everyone.
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