The challenge:

Trafigura employees and contractors cover over 300 million kilometres annually, often in remote areas and on poor quality roads. We try to reduce road-based logistics wherever we can, but at least for first-stage transportation, there are few viable alternatives. Historically, road-traffic accidents related to company operations have caused injuries and fatalities. That makes raising driving standards and increasing safety awareness urgent and continuing priorities.

Our approach:

Much of Trafigura’s road-based freight is transported by third-party hauliers. This can have clear safety benefits – local drivers are operating in familiar road conditions, they understand their driving culture – but it is essential that they are suitably trained, equipped and managed.

We work with hundreds of trucking contractors across the globe. Our focus is on maintaining minimum standards and a safety-first approach throughout. Regular due-diligence reviews assess contractors’ policies, processes and maintenance schedules. Trucks must be checked before each journey; hauliers are expected to take positive action to monitor driver performance, manage fatigue and to have a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and drug consumption.

We actively encourage incident and near-miss reporting. We are supplementing this data by installing in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS) across all 350 of our owned and operated vehicles. These devices combine GPS technology with vehicle tracking applications that identify unsafe driving behaviours, such as exceeding the speed limit or repeated hard braking.

The IVMS data is enhancing our understanding of drivers’ habits and the risks they face on the roads. We are applying these insights to improve road safety, providing coaching where needed and through reward schemes for good practice.

In May 2019, we launched a global road safety campaign to raise awareness and encourage safe behaviour on the roads. ‘Staying Alive’ was timed to coincide with the United Nations’ Road Safety Week. 

As part of this, we announced a new global policy on seat-belt usage. Although seat-belt wearing is already a legal requirement in many jurisdictions, it is not yet ingrained behaviour in some places where we operate. The new policy requires all employees and contractors travelling on company business to wear seat belts at all times. Nearly 100 Trafigura employees and contractors shared seat-belt selfies online to demonstrate their support.

A wide-ranging campaign saw accident survivors and expert drivers giving presentations and running workshops. Employees were offered defensive driving courses.  Campaign resources were made available to every region via the company intranet. We rolled out summary guidelines on how to manage road transportation risk. Posters, banners and in-car air fresheners with road-safety messages in multiple languages were distributed worldwide.

The Staying Alive campaign gained high levels of participation and has focused company attention on road safety topics. Our challenge now is to ensure this continues and to translate that into sustained improvements in road-safety performance.