THE USE of web sites is just one more way European industry associations serve their members. Like other related groups around the world, the associations have a history of organizing meetings, lobbying governmental bodies, and supplying technical advice and training programs. Now, many of those services can be accessed immediately through the Internet.
One of the most helpful aspects of the web sites are the many sections that contain links to subjects of concern to their membership.
www.epca.be The European Petrochemical Association (EPCA), Brussels, Belgium, offers several links to other associations. Its pages contain the European Chemical Transport Association (ECTA) site. There are links to the Asociacion Petroquimica y Quimica Latinoamericana; Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe, Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe, European Chemical Industry Council, European Federation of Chemical Distributors, International Tank Container Organization, and National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.
On the EPCA site are extensive reports from the association's annual and logistics meetings. Individual presentations are available. In addition, the association newsletter can be downloaded.
EPCA launched the updated site in July 2000 with improved graphical interface, online forms, a password-protected section for members, and meetings information.
www.epca.be/ECTA The European Chemical Transport Association pages on the EPCA site contain information about the association's different working groups. Numerous documents and data produced by the groups are available for downloading and printing.
ECTA working groups are involved in seeking practical means to implement guidelines for transport equipment and delivery performance. The guidelines can be accessed on the site. They include information for bulk liquid, granulate, and powders transportation.
Other working groups in the association are gathering and supplying information for accident/incident analysis and behavioral training.
Information about workshops that are sponsored by the association is available on the site. Additional information about the workshops and other meetings can be obtained through email.
www.uirr.com The International Union of Combined Road-Rail Transport Companies (UIRR), Brussels, serves any company directly involved in the operation of combined European transport focusing on road and rail. For European tank truck carriers wondering about the future of the railroad across a united Europe, this site contains both historical and current information.
The association takes an active role in the political activity that is working toward combining the two modes of transportation. "Transport policy is now initiated in Brussels, and European bodies to a large extent have to rely on proposals and memoranda from professional organizations," the organization notes.
The web site offers a download of a document that the organization has prepared to discuss the problems facing rail and combined transport. As part of a lobbying effort, the document has been presented to the vice-chairman of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport and Energy. A summary and the complete document are available for downloading.
www.apme.org If you're looking for statistics on plastics manufacturing in Europe, then the place to go is the web site of The Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (APME). For example, the site reveals that the industry employs more than 70,000 people in Europe - add to that the employees in auxiliary industries and the count goes over one million.
Financial statistics are presented (in Euros) for annual production, investment, and research and development.
The site contains bar graphs depicting plastics processors' consumption by country in Western Europe. The total for the European Union is 29,551,000 tons. Those figures range from Ireland's 208,000 tons all the way up to Germany's 7,118,000 tons.
On average, each individual in Western Europe consumes about 75.8 kilograms (167 pounds) of plastics annually.
Having crunched the numbers in an educational manner, the web site adds school pages. A project pack for teenagers includes notes for the teacher and can be ordered from the association. Teachers can refer to a survey conducted to analyze the program's effectiveness.
www.traceca.org For information on what is happening in the European Caucasus and Central Asia, the web site of the Transport Corridor Europe Caucasus Asia (TRACECA) is the direction to take. TRACECA is funded by the European Union with the goal to develop a transport corridor from Europe, across the Black Sea, through the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Central Asia.
Among projects funded are road rehabilitation in Armenia and Georgia. Studies have been funded for infrastructure improvements in Azerbaijan. The combined projects are expected to improve road connections between the cities of Baku, Tbilisi, and Yerevan.
Railcar and tank trailer cleaning facilities also are on the list for funding. Boilers for heating water have been presented to a cleaning facility in Balajari.
The web site is one more way for European carriers wishing to grow eastward to keep up with what is happening in those areas. In addition to infrastructure data, the site discusses the integration and harmonization of the East's transport regulatory environment and its relationship with European and other international rules.
www.traceca.org Another web site with a lengthy links list pertaining to the chemical industry is the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety, an arm of the World Health Organization. The site also has an acronym list that could prove helpful.
The links list covers many different interests - from activist groups to the European Commission. It is a resource for companies that wish to stay abreast of various controversial issues pertaining to their industries.
www.dmtispatial.com DMTI UPGRADES CANMAP DMTI Spatial Inc, a spatial solutions provider for Canadian street map data, announces an upgrade to its flagship product, CanMap. The most significant enhancement in version 4.0 is the availability of street names for communities as small as 1,000 people.
Included in the CanMap suite of products are CanMap Streetfiles, CanMap RouteLogistics, CanMap Major Roads & Highways, and CanMap Plus+.
CanMap V4.0 is loaded with new features and enhancements such as: addressing for communities of more than 4,750 people; Canada/United States border crossings (points of entry), including the name of the US road that links to a Canadian road across the border; and airport locations, including airport name and code in urban areas.
www.bulknet.com BULKNET.COM ADDS CARRIERS Bulknet.com, the new online load management service for shippers and bulk carriers in the chemical industry, has announced that 41 of the nation's largest tank truck carriers are now registered to use the month-old web site to enhance the effectiveness of their load planning and the efficiency of their dispatch, including: Groendyke, Liquid Transport Corp, Matlack, Miller Transporters, Quality Carriers, Schneider, and Trimac.
The seven carriers represent more than $1.6 billion in bulk transportation services annually, according to industry sources. The list of 41 carriers represents 10% of the total number of carriers in the nation, and 45% of the dollar volume in bulk transportation throughout the United States.
Bulknet.com's new load-management service allows shippers and carriers to negotiate anonymously for each other's business through a neutral marketplace.
www.idscnet.com MIDWEST SELECTS SOFTWARE Midwest Specialized Transportation has selected decision support tools from Integrated Decision Support Corp of Richardson TX. Midwest Specialized has signed a contract for installation of Expert Fuel and Out-of-Route Alert.
Expert Fuel minimizes fuel costs by providing an optimal fuel plan at the time of dispatch. Out-of-Route Alert is a module that interfaces to Expert Fuel and the mobile communications system to determine if a driver is out-of-route and/or is going to be late. The system provides automatic notification via the dispatch system.