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Certifications in Logistics: ISO, TAPA, and Environment

Mitarbeiter in Warnweste vor Lkw

Logistics is a challenging business – and demands are growing. It is becoming ever more apparent today how crucial intelligent processes and structures have become. In times of crisis, they make all the difference. Towards more efficiency, sustainability, safety, and reliability certifications indicate the status of a company. They are awarded for smart work. We provide an overview of the certifications with which DHL Freight ensures the best possible quality for its customers, partners, and employees.

Certifications: Significance in Logistics

Certifications are essential in many respects. On the one hand, they set a benchmark for the companies themselves. They create certainty that internal processes and structures work properly, that applicable law is complied with, and that high standards are met. On the other hand, they also have a strong external impact. Potential customers and partners have only limited insight into any other company. But certifications give them an indication that a company can be relied upon – after all, an independent body has determined just that in a careful assessment.

This means that one does not have to rely on hearsay when selecting business partners but can verify the company’s suitability for cooperation in cold print. Many companies even expect their logistics partner to provide certain certifications. If these cannot be presented, a company may not even be considered and further talks are unnecessary.

Certification in Logistics: ISO

But which certifications are the most relevant in logistics? ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, defines international standards for companies. This organization is well-known across all industries and provides for reliable processes in a wide range of areas – from internal organization and safety to the environmental performance of companies. ISO has devised many certifications relevant to logistics, thus gradually raising both the demands on and the quality of logistic service providers such as DHL Freight.

ISO 9001

This certification represents reliability in logistics: ISO 9001 refers to quality management within a company. It assures that companies comply with the principles of quality management – with precise goals, measurable results, and adequate resources to achieve them. This is complemented by the consideration of risks and opportunities to facilitate continuous optimization within the company.

ISO 45001

Another certification deals with the physical and mental health of employees: ISO 45001. Companies must protect the health and safety of their employees. By introducing a health and safety management system, companies ensure this protection – and prevent work-related injuries or illnesses as much as possible. The SGA management system according to ISO 45001 is the basis for this.

IFS Logistics

DHL FoodLogistics GmbH and Albert Scheidt GmbH, as subsidiaries of DHL Freight GmbH, as well as most DHL Freight / Unitrans network stations in Germany are also certified according to the IFS Logistics Standard. This standard defines the requirements for logistics service providers with regard to food safety during transport and storage - regardless of whether by truck, ship, air or rail. This enables reliable transparency across the entire international supply chain.

Certifications for the Environment and Energy Management: ISO 14001 & ISO 50001

In view of the global climate crisis, it goes without saying that the issue of sustainability is playing an ever-greater role in logistics. After all, the industry is one of the biggest emitters on a global scale. With our goal of zero emissions by 2050, we want to play a pioneering role in this regard – and in doing so, we set the highest standards for ourselves.

ISO 14001

Certifications such as ISO 14001 are becoming increasingly important due to climate change and are increasingly expected by potential customers and partners. ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard and specifies the requirements for an environmental management system to improve operational sustainability. Life cycle assessments, environmental indicators, and thus an evaluation of sustainability efforts are the main focus here.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 addresses the energy management of companies. Companies are expected to reduce their energy consumption and to introduce processes for efficient energy management. ISO 50001 certification is basically voluntary, but in addition to saving energy costs, for example, in some countries it can also bring benefits for companies in terms of regulatory approvals or in the form of reductions in energy taxes. In the UK, for instance, ISO 50001 certification enables companies to avoid costly and time-consuming Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) assessments, and in Germany the certification is a prerequisite for the partial exemption of energy-intensive companies from the EEG (the German law for the expansion of renewable energies) levy.

DHL Freight renews ISO Certifications

The DEKRA certification body has awarded DHL Freight four ISO certifications for 2021. The certificates for ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001 (environmental management) and ISO 50001 (energy management) were renewed – and the ISO certificate 45001 for occupational health and safety was awarded for the first time. DHL Freight remains true to its high-quality standards and is further expanding them.

TAPA Certification at a Glance

Cargo security for transport and logistics: This is the essence of the TAPA certification awarded by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA). Manufacturers of high-value goods, for example, are frequently affected by theft and thus demand a high level of security for their shipments. Protecting these goods, reducing security and liability risks, conducting training to raise awareness of this issue, and increasing transparency for the companies involved are the basic requirements for TAPA certification. The focus of the efforts is on theft prevention.

TAPA is an association of more than 600 companies from all over the world that are involved in the manufacturing of high-value goods, logistics, law enforcement, or other related fields. The common goal is to create standards to improve supply chain security and reduce susceptibility to loss of goods and theft. To this end, we have been able to obtain the relevant TAPA certifications.

TAPA has introduced three safety standards that are valid internationally:

  • TAPA FSR (Facility Security Requirements)
  • TAPA TSR (Trucking Security Requirements)
  • TAPA PSR (Parking Security Requirements)


The Facility Security Requirements standard identifies and evaluates potential storage risks along the supply chain and provides for measures to increase the protection of goods – whether on the premises of the logistics service provider, the recipient, or at other points in the global supply chain. Depending on the specific requirements, certification is possible at levels A, B, or C – individually for each facility.


But how do goods get from one place to another safely? This is regulated by TAPA’s Trucking Security Requirements. This standard specifies requirements for various aspects of transport: for the equipment of tractor units and trailers, for processes and their control within the company, and for a special communications infrastructure making sure, for example, that those involved are informed at all times about the progress of the transport and the location of the trucks.

In addition to the security levels from 1 to 3, TAPA TSR also differentiates according to the size of the fleet. 10 to 30 trucks fall into the “Small” category, 31 to 100 trucks are “Medium”, and more than 100 are considered “Large”.


Parking Security Requirements establish the minimum requirements for parking lots and yards where transport vehicles may be parked along routes. A traditional, unsecured parking lot can pose a great risk to goods. Using the Secure Parking Online tool, companies can identify safe and certified parking lots and include them in their route planning.

DHL Green Carrier Certification

To make the sustainability efforts of our corporate partners more transparent, DHL Freight has additionally introduced the DHL Green Carrier Certification for our own company assessment. The other certifications are external, but this one is an internal standard. The DHL Green Carrier Certification emphasizes and supports our commitment to sustainability.

The aim is to make the processes and efforts of our corporate partners for greater environmental protection transparent and measurable. Carolin Schaps, Head of Strategic Projects at DHL Freight, comments on the introduction of the new certification. “The DHL Green Carrier certification is one of the milestones on our sustainability roadmap and an important prerequisite for the next steps.”

Truck on street Sustanability Green Carrier Certificate

Better Quality with Certifications

Certifications have a variety of effects in logistics. The most important is the improvement of the quality of services and processes within a company, which increases reliability along the supply chain.

Certifications strengthen the trust of customers and partners in a company and create a certain level of security. They can expect a minimum level of quality from us as a service provider with the corresponding certifications. For DHL Freight, certifications are essential: for the high standards within the company and as a promise to customers and partners.

Daniel Schümmer

Daniel Schümmer Global Head of Certification Management, DHL Freight

Apart from the common international standards, DHL Freight also recognizes the relevance of regional certifications: IFS Logistics (food safety and hygiene), EN 12798 (safety in the transport of dangerous goods), SQAS (safety in the transport of chemical goods) and GDP Pharma (pharmaceutical logistics) are all part of our portfolio.

As Europe's leading provider of road freight, we at DHL Freight bear a great responsibility: to our customers, partners, employees, and equally to our environment. The highest quality, safety, and energy standards help us to meet this responsibility – our certifications confirm this.

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