Repacking Dangerous Goods
Authorization column in the shipper’s declaration
Shipping by Air Declaration form authorization column

Almost always the authorization column in the shipper’s declaration is left blank, but when you need to add something in there, you must add it in there. Section 8.6.1.9.4 of the IATA Regulations provides when and what to add when required. Now sometimes we forget to read the “notes” in the Regulations.

Here’s my story

A customer called in first thing Monday morning to get help on shipping an engine. It was an urgent shipment, and he had to get it out ASAP. I said, “No problem. We can help.” It’s what we do. It was going via air, and since it was a domestic shipment he can drop the shipment off to the airline directly for it to leave later that day.

Packaging for an engine

Engines vary in size, clearly. I asked our customer if his engine was packaged, and he said no, but it was strapped on a wooden pallet with 2×4 lumber on corners of the pallet for support. So, I asked him to email me a picture to understand what he meant by that. The picture showed the engine was visible, and the corners with the lumber in upright position did not affect the identification of the engine. I told our customer that all he needed was the shipper’s declaration. We created the declaration, he picked up the colored copies from our office and dropped Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Shipping DG by Air With More than One Air Carrier

What do you do when your shipment involves two air carriers, but they are not interline?

It is common for one shipment to travel with multiple air carriers; however, almost all are interline which means they will coordinate and transfer shipments among themselves without issues. It helps when there is a freight forwarder involved who will take on this task for us, as we would expect them to take on all the coordination of a shipment. In some cases when the shipper is doing it all themselves, it can be challenging … like last week.

Let Me Set the Scene

The shipper is in Vancouver, BC and is shipping a variety of products (DG and non-DG) to 2 different communities in Northern Canada. They decided to do the logistics themselves. Since they don’t have air certification they asked for our repackaging services for the DG. The DG included some compressed cylinders, batteries, and life saving appliances. All commodities are acceptable for air transport. There would be 3 pallets leaving from Vancouver; 2 pallets are destined for one community and 1 pallet is destined for another community.

Here is the Issue

All 3 pallets are going to Ottawa, ON first. From there 2 of the pallets are going to one community and 1 pallet to another. All 3 pallets are going on Air Canada from Vancouver to Ottawa, from Ottawa the pallets Continue Reading…

OSHA Labeling
Can you ship DG and non-DG Together in One Package?

Can you ship DG and non-DG Together in One Package?

Surprisingly this is pretty common. Normally the answer is, “Sure.”

However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a dangerous goods commodity can react with a non-dangerous goods commodity. I do come across this type of situation occasionally.

Shipping from Canada to USA via Air

Earlier this week a client dropped off 2 different product samples going to USA via air transport. He provided the SDS for both products, one was DG and the other not. He asked if both samples can go together in one package. I told him, “Maybe.” Without consulting the SDSs and gathering more information I couldn’t be sure. If they are compatible, then I can package them together.

I used to work in the carrier industry so I know it’s better to consolidate than to have a multiple piece shipment. Most times all the pieces will arrive together, but there is a chance they may not. So for me, personally, I prefer to minimize the number of packages, which means using a bigger box if I need to.

Determining Compatibility

So back to this. I checked the SDS for both and the one that was DG was a corrosive material.

The non-DG product requires a more thorough read-through to see which material this material was incompatible with and in Section 10: Stability and Reactivity it said incompatible with oxidizing materials Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Can I Ship Dangerous Goods to Brazil with my TDG Training Certificate?

Calcium Oxide UN1910 UN Packaging

The answer is: No.

Shipping Dangerous Goods from Canada to Brazil

Now the Background Story

I was forwarded an email from a very nice lady (let’s call her Jane), who is registered to take our public TDG training coming up in a couple of weeks at our Delta, B.C. office.

She said she has some product that needs to be shipped to Brazil, which she was told was dangerous goods. Jane wanted to know if we sell corrosive labels and if we can do up the dangerous goods document or if she would be able to do it herself after she takes her training. I asked Jane to call me; sometimes it is just easier to talk on the phone.

Training or Repacking?

While on a call I asked her if she is taking our public air (IATA) training and she said, “No. Just the TDG“. I explained to Jane that by completing the TDG training she will be certified to ship, handle, transport, and import dangerous goods within Canada via road, rail, and domestic marine; therefore, even after she takes her TDG training she can’t ship dangerous goods to Brazil.

After clarifying this with her I advised that if she wants to ship this product to Brazil she will need to either take an air training course or use our repackaging service.

I provided her with a repackaging quote and explained, “this is Continue Reading…

How to Ship My Motorcycle

Riding motorcycle on dirt road

I need to ship my motorcycle. What do I need to do?

Normally around this time of the year we start to get calls about shipping a motorcycle as folks are planning their vacations and motorcycle adventures.

To be honest, I enjoy receiving these motorcycle inquiry calls because it always had to do with someone either visiting our beautiful country and now returning back home or they will be traveling to a beautiful destination and need to ship their bike. It gives me a chance to chat with them about their travels, too! Which is exciting, as I am a world traveler myself. I thoroughly enjoy speaking to them about their travels and adventures before I get into discussing the “exciting” world of shipping dangerous goods.

Here’s All that is Involved with Shipping a Bike:

We can help you! It is a simple procedure and it involves very little stress.

1. You will need to complete the “Motorcycle Declaration Form”

This can be completely electronically in the comfort of your home. This form can be downloaded here (Kel-Ex Vancouver) or here (ICC Repacking). It’s a simple document which gives us the details of your bike (i.e., shipper and consignee address, how it will be packaged, weight, confirmation that the fuel tank will be drained to less than ¼ tank upon drop off). In most cases motorcycles are dropped off “as is” meaning Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Help! My DG Shipment is Delayed

Help! My dg shipment was delayed

… and I was told to call ICC

It’s very common to hear this from our first-time clients whose dangerous goods shipment is delayed somewhere and now they are panicking to get it “unstuck”. I had a similar situation couple of weeks ago.

Delayed Shipment of Dangerous Goods

A gentleman was referred to us by an air carrier. Let’s call him Jack. Jack called asking if we can assist him with his package that is held up by the air carrier at the air carrier’s location. The air carrier was local to ICC; hence, they gave Jack our contact information. In an effort to understand what happened I asked him about what he was shipping and he told me very plainly, samples.

Now we all know “samples” can mean just about anything. Jack said that they were samples from their equipment and he was shipping them to the USA for testing. I asked him if he had the SDS for these samples and if he could email it to me along with the quantity per sample.

Apparently, there were two (2) 0.5 litre bottles inside this box. Jack is based in northern B.C. so his shipment was transported via ground and then it was supposed to go air from Vancouver, B.C. Jack mentioned that supposedly his shipment started to leak and it seeped to the outside of the package. The air Continue Reading…

IMDG
How Do You Ship Bullets? (IMO)

shipping bullets by ocean

What to do when you are moving and need to ship a whole lot of bullets?

98% of our repackaging clientele are businesses, but there are 2% of our clientele that are regular people. At least, this is how I refer to them. These folks are a “Mr. or Mrs. Smith” who have absolutely no idea about the dangerous goods world, but what they wish to send is considered dangerous goods. These folks are referred to us from carriers, freight forwarders, and sometimes by internet search results.

Recently I had a Mr. Smith call us to ask about packaging cartridges as recommended by his freight forwarder. He is moving to Europe and is packing up his entire house, which includes his firearms and the cartridges that go with them. He already had all his ducks in a row meaning his export/import documentation and certification for the firearms and whatever else was needed to ship the firearms and cartridges, but he needed to get the cartridges packaged up for transport. That’s where ICC comes in.

What Are We Really Dealing With?

Mr. Smith didn’t have any transport information such as UN number or shipping name. So, I asked him to email me pictures of the cartridges, because he mentioned they were all in their original retail packages. I was able to call the manufacturer directly and ask for the shipping info. Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Shipping Laptops to Australia

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Shipping Laptops Means Shipping Lithium Batteries

If you were to ship a laptop 5 years ago, all you would need to do was pack it up and ship it. Like shipping socks. But now that same laptop is considered a dangerous good due to the lithium battery it contains.

The Situation

I had a customer drop off 2 laptops going to Australia. He wanted me to prepare the shipment for air transport as he isn’t certified to ship dangerous goods via air. He said he received about 6 pallets of marine vessel equipment returning from Canada to Australia and he said someone put these 2 laptops in one of those pallets thinking it can all go as general cargo. He knew that there are restrictions on shipping lithium batteries via air so he knew he had to call in the expert!

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The Solution

I removed the battery from the laptop to see the watt hour rating. It was 41-watt hour and the total net quantity of lithium was below 5 kg (well below). Which meant these laptops are classified as Section II for UN3481, Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment; therefore, does not require a shipper’s declaration. It’s always good news for the client when it falls in Section II as it saves the client money.

I placed both laptops inside a good strong box (each laptop was initially Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Shipping Different Dangerous Goods in One Package

Man preparing shipment

Q Value!

Now doesn’t that sound interesting. When you want to ship different dangerous goods in one outer packaging, you have to calculate something called a “Q value” using a formula. The Q value ordeal is only applicable to air shipments and seldom used as most prefer to put the dangerous goods in separate packaging.

Last week a customer requested to have 2 different dangerous goods packaged and shipped to Brazil via air. Since the quantities for each product was less than 200 ml I thought I might be able to apply the “Q” value and besides it’s always better to consolidate your shipment if you can to prevent loss/delay of packages. Especially this time of the year.

I ensured the dangerous goods met all the requirements of Section 5.0.2.11 of the IATA Regulation. I calculated the “Q” value and it was less than 1.0. So, everything seemed to be a go. For packaging, I used a 4GV box and lots of vermiculite to:

  1. separate the two dangerous goods and
  2. more than enough absorbent in case there was a leak (only one product was liquid)

Applied all the labels and markings, created the shipper’s declaration and added the Q value as required per Section 8.1.6.9.2(f), then shipped it out with Fedex.

I like to throw in a knuckleball once in a while and keep things Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Everyone’s Favorite … Shipping Lithium Batteries!

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Complying with the Regulations

Sometimes we try to find an economical solution to comply with regulations. If it works, great, but sometimes – actually most times – it comes back to bite us in the behind.

Last week a customer of ICC’s came in panicking to get help. He has previously used us a few times for our repackaging service. Let’s call him Bob. Bob told me he and his team took an online training course which certified them to ship lithium batteries via air. Bob’s shipper packaged up a lithium battery shipment and had sent it out. Bob just found out that it was rejected by the carrier. I asked Bob which UN# they used and he said UN3481. Asked him which (packing instruction) section and he said “what?”. I said, “In Packing Instruction 967, which section do you fall under?” He said, “What’s a packing instruction?”. I grabbed my IATA regulation and told him, “You guys used this book to do the course, yeah?” and he inferred that the course didn’t require use of a book and no, they didn’t use any books. I asked Bob if they took training with ICC and he said, “no”. Bob said they took training with another company and paid $50 as it was the cheapest training they could find. I told him that was his first mistake.

Carrier Conundrum

Bob said Continue Reading…