What do you do when an empty package weighs almost as much as the maximum weight allowed?
Those who ship dangerous goods via air understand there are maximum weight restrictions per package to abide by. For example, in the case of ID8000 the maximum weight per package is 30 kg G. The “G” represents gross weight.
I had a packaging service request to prepare a shipment (2 boxes) heading to Europe via air. As per the SDS the goods are classified as ID8000 for air transport. No problem! Normally ID8000 packaging jobs are pretty straightforward. When the boxes arrived at our warehouse, I was shocked at how big they were. I attempted to lift one off the pallet and move it to my packaging area, and our warehouse coordinator said, “Easy there, Muscles. Those are heavy boxes.” I asked him how much the packages weighed. He grabbed the courier slip and it said 89 kg (196.11 lbs).
Right off the bat, the maximum weight per package was now exceeded. I opened one of the boxes to see inside (as I always do with any packaging job) and inside were a bunch of smaller boxes with aerosol cans. I took out all the smaller boxes and weighed the empty box (yes, I got help from Mr. Hercules … there is a lot of love around our office) to find out the empty box itself weighs 26.1 kg (57.54 lbs). I know! How crazy is that? I called to inform our client that the shipment can’t go the way it is currently packaged as it exceeds the maximum weight restriction. He said his people are insisting that they go inside this particular package.
So, I said okay then you need 10 of these big boxes to comply with the regulations. Basically I can only put 3.68 kg of the commodity inside each big box because the big box weighs 26.1 kg empty. I told him he really needs to talk to his people because that’s just ridiculous. Keep in mind the value of the product vs. the carrier charge (weight and dim). His client will end up paying way more for shipping than what the product is actually worth.
Our client got in touch with me a couple of days later and asked if the big box can be used as an “overpack”. I said sure as long as the inside package meets packing instruction Y963, which I then went on to explain all the requirements. He said he will have his folks package up the inside box and will drop off the shipment to me. Furthermore, he mentioned there was another shipment now that is the same commodity going to the same destination. In total: 4 boxes. The next day all 4 boxes arrived. With help again from Mr. Hercules we opened up each box and sure enough there was a smaller box inside each box that met the requirements of PI Y963. I prepared the shipment accordingly while doing some weightlifting exercises. This particular job is a first for me in all my years in packaging. The empty packaging itself weighs close to the maximum weight restriction… how crazy is that!?