Fuel Spill Cleanup for Clean Harbors

After searching for a transportation broker they felt could complete the project, Clean Harbors hired KCH Transportation as the exclusive transportation provider to develop and execute a comprehensive solution...
July 27, 2021

Client Profile

Clean Harbors is the recognized North American leader in environmental and industrial services. Their customer base serves a wide array of industries and government agencies, as well as the majority of Fortune 500 companies.

Founded in 1980, the company specializes in end-to-end hazardous waste management, emergency spill response, industrial cleaning and maintenance, recycling services and more. Through its Safety-Kleen subsidiary, Clean Harbors is also North America’s largest re-refiner and recycler of used oil and a leading provider of environmental services to commercial, industrial, and automotive companies.

Clean Harbors is headquartered in Massachusetts and operates throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Client Need

Story City, a small community in the center of the Iowan heartland, suffered a fuel spill in a local pond. The cause of the spill was unknown, but the dangerous ramifications to the local people, marine life, animals, flora, and the environment were clear.

Clean Harbors took on the task of cleaning up the fuel spill. To accomplish this goal, they needed to quickly, efficiently, and safely pump the contaminated water out of the pond and transport it to a local water treatment facility to be sanitized.

Other tasks also needed to be carried out to ensure successful completion of the project, such as security clearances for the tanker drivers, coordination of the work crew schedules, and security protocols.

Adding to the challenge was the current freezing November temperatures, which threatened to impede the successful and efficient removal of the affected water.

“When we first heard about the project, we understood the immediate action required to fix this situation, as well as the importance of prioritizing public worker health and safety. Our team knew the challenges and felt confident that we were the professionals who could get the job done.” – Jason Whitten, President, KCH Transportation


Instead of calling the customer and awaiting action on their part, our driver called us. When a KCH Operations Manager was made aware of the lack of a forklift at the delivery location, he immediately set about solving the problem to get the load off the truck and keep our customer’s operations running smoothly.

We picked up the phone and called equipment rental services in the area that offer rental forklifts. It only took a few calls to find a rental agency that had a forklift available right away. We arranged for it to be delivered on a rollback trailer to the customer’s facility at once.

“He [sic] made the right call by solving the problem right away. We know that not acting proactively can be costly for the customer, and our actions are always guided by what best serves the customer’s needs. In this case, taking action to get the load off the truck as quickly as possible did just that.” – JASON WHITTEN, PRESIDENT, KCH TRANSPORTATION


Upon arrival, the forklift was immediately used to promptly unload the cargo from the trailer, minimizing the delay. When our customer was apprised of the situation, they were impressed that we took immediate action to solve the problem proactively.

Thanks to our team, the situation turned into a positive experience that strengthened KCH Transportation’s relationship with the customer. It also reinforced the fact that we are a partner who is as invested in the success of the transport process as they are.

Today, we’re the customer’s most trusted transportation broker, once again proving that we don’t just talk about white-glove service – we exemplify it.

“We take solving problems seriously, especially when the customer benefits from our team’s creative thinking. That’s why when our customers need a complete solution that covers all the bases, they call KCH Transportation.”– JASON WHITTEN, PRESIDENT, KCH TRANSPORTATION