Adding a new supplier is a great way to bolster your resin supply’s resilience and diversity. More locations means more options and greater flexibility. But when it comes to adding a new polyethylene resin supplier, there are key points to take into consideration.

Let’s Talk Logistics and Transparency

With the amount of supply chain issues happening across the world, logistics has risen to peak importance in many industries, and it’s no different for polymers. One of the key points to consider is a supplier’s use of different supply modalities. A supplier that can ship resin via truck and rail can increase supply security as more options help ensure the fastest delivery possible. For example, Shell Polymers uses both railcars and trucks to address different shipment needs and to increase resin supply reliability and transparency.

This dual modality saves time and money as it reduces the amount of handling involved and therefore lowers risks to resin quality. Plus, our truck silos are more efficient than most in the industry. That means that nearby converters can get shipments that are quickly loaded, including emergency shipments if the critical need arises.

Even with flexible shipping options, delayed deliveries are a reality in our industry. But does that mean a lack of follow-up is also a part of it? Converters should look for a polyethylene supplier who offers more open communications about their shipments’ locations, status, and any delays that may occur. For example, our hopper cars can be tracked using GPS, just like any consumer purchase nowadays. 

Proximity To Converters

The majority of North American polyethylene converters are located in the northeast United States. So why wouldn’t a supplier be nearby? Location is an important factor to consider when looking into new suppliers. Many polyethylene suppliers are located on the Gulf Coast and Shell Polymers’ Monaca, PA location offers a way to diversify that singular supply location. 

The location was strategically selected to be outside of the hurricane zone and has been winterized to protect it as best as possible from the elements. And while our proximity to the majority of polyethylene buyers won’t help us eliminate supply disruptions, we can reduce them given our ability to get to customers in a shorter time than coming from down south. 

Consistency Should Be Paramount

With logistics, transparency, and data covered, we are left with resin consistency. Consistent resin makes a converter’s life easier, and it’s something we strive for in every batch of resin we create. In fact, we’ve detailed the polymer quality measures we’re implementing, lot-to-lot consistency we aim for, and the people who ensure that quality in our plants in previous blogs.

Our robust change management system helps us introduce new products such as additives or test out new processes without requiring converters to adjust production. We can test these changes on-site so converters can learn from our tests without having to shut down their own machines. Plus, as a final check, the scientists in our labs will be checking batches to make sure they are on-spec for customers before shipping out. These quality measures are aimed to help converters feel confident that their resin is on-spec and ready-to-use

Finding a new supply can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for in a supplier. It doesn’t have to be a trudge, though; just remember the following key points. 

  • First and foremost, a supplier should want your business to succeed because that’s how their business will succeed as well.
  • Secondly, a supplier should offer more clarity on deliveries and logistics, like offering GPS tracking when possible.
  • Thirdly, consider the location of your supplier and how it benefits your business in the long run.
  • Finally, quality measures should be in place to ensure product consistency and a supplier should be able to explain those measures if asked.

With those points in place, you can make sure your next resin supplier is right for your business. 


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