Companies in this industry operate as merchant wholesale distributors of plastics materials and a variety of other chemical products. Major companies include Brenntag (based in Germany), HELM (Germany), ITOCHU (Japan), Nexeo Solutions (US), Sinochem (China), and Univar (US).
Chemical distribution is a cyclical business dependent on industrial demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on an efficient distribution system. Larger companies can offer more products and services. Local and regional distributors can compete effectively through superior service or geographic focus. The US industry is concentrated: the largest 50 companies generate more than half of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products distributed are plastics materials, alkalis and chlorine, detergents and soaps, adhesives, and industrial gases. Plastics account for about 20% of industry revenue.