As we all know, when shipping dangerous goods the shipper has the following responsibilities
Proper markings on the packaging.
Proper description on the shipping papers.
All 3 require training in hazardous materials. However, what if the proper packaging isn’t available? After all, it is also our responsibility to prevent loss and damage during normal transportation and handling according to FedEx. In the last several years here at ICC, the need for paint can shippers that don’t leak and dent has gone through the roof. I have been contacted by several different large paint distributors all looking to solve the same riddle; how do I get my paint cans from point A to point B without damage and leaking? Challenge accepted! The first step is to decide what metric to use to determine if the packaging will damage or leak during normal transit. Well a while back I wrote a blog on ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing, http://blog.thecompliancecenter.com/ista-series-6-6-fedex-a-testing-vs-standard-un-testing/, which helps determine how well a package will perform out in the field. So I figured that would be a good starting point. Basically, our goal was to create paint can shippers that not only would survive the 10 drops from 30 inches up that the FedEx testing requires, but also have minimal to no damage on the paint cans at all.
The 58th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations has introduced new package markings for air transport of lithium batteries. For fully-regulated (Section I) batteries the UN has introduced the dedicated lithium battery Class 9 label, showing a battery graphic in the lower half. For low-powered batteries that are exempted under Section II, IATA has introduced a new version of the Lithium Battery Handling label (the one marked “CAUTION”).
The new Lithium Battery Handling mark (no longer classified by IATA as a “label”) was designed to eliminate the text portion, making the mark no longer dependent on a specific language. Instead of using text to indicate type of battery, this mark will use the UN number, making it easy to identify the batteries no matter what language the handlers speak.
ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and IATA (International Air Transport Association) intend this new handling mark and the new lithium battery Class 9 label to be phased in over the next two years, to become mandatory on January 1, 2019. This will allow people to use up old stocks, and train their staff to recognize the new symbols while still using the old ones.
However, FedEx introduced a variation (FX-05 in the IATA DGR) that requires shippers to mark the UN number on Section II batteries as of January 1, 2017, two years before ICAO Continue Reading…
The 2017 IATA DGR Limitations (Section 2) has a bit of a curve ball thrown to those who have become familiar with the common FedEx (FX) limitations found throughout the Section 5 packing instructions (PI).
In addition to the substantive changes in lithium battery shipment acceptance, the complete FX series has been re-arranged. The restrictions in the previous (57th) edition are still there but have been largely consolidated as sub-items; often within a different FX number. The change results in going from 18 FX numbers, 17 of which were active (FX-08 was “Not used”) to essentially the same topics covered in a list of 9 active FX numbers (FX-01 through FX-08 & FX-18)- i.e. FX-09 through FX-17 are currently not in use.
A quick reference guide for those who had memorised the common FedEx exemptions appears below:
FedEx-Changes in IATA DGR Limitations
57th Ed 2016
58th Ed 2017
FX-01 (a), (b)
Class 6.1, PIH, Class 2 with sub.
FX-02 (a), (b)
Class 7…+ excepted pkg
FX-03 (a)- (d) + (e)
FX-05 (a) – (d)
Class 6.2, WHO RG4
Pkg must accommodate labels
Shipper’s Dec, 3 copies…
Acetylene; DiMeDiClsilane; Zr suspension
Sp A2, A183 not recognised
IE/IEF require “V-pkg”
Software for ShDec
Note: Although there are several “FX-” limitations relating to, for example, marking and documentation; the majority of limitations are referenced in the PI. Continue Reading…
I attended the sixth Dangerous Goods Instructor Symposium (DGIS VI) hosted by LabelMaster in Memphis TN last week.
Things started on Tuesday evening with the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association (DGTA) meeting. The changes concerning NESHTA, BCSP, IHMM and others were discussed. Bob Richard has suggested the DGTA make application at the UN for consultative status. This would allow DGTA to attend the UNSCOE on TDG as observers or as a NGO (non-governmental organization). The website has been updated, see www.dtga.org/. There was also discussion on which trade shows that DGTA should attend.
Later that night some of us boarded buses to go the the FedEx world hub. Here we were given a tour of the FedEx Memphis Hub (night-side) facilities.
Some interesting points of interest:
handles approx. 1.3 million packages daily
averages 140 landings per night (every 90 seconds)
averages 140 takeoffs per night
aircraft unloaded in under 30 minutes
fleet of more than 366 aircraft (727s to A300s to 777)
7,000 employees at the hub
covers 863 acres
approx. 42 miles (68 km) of conveyor belts
Thanks to David Jones of FedEx for arranging the tour.
The Wednesday morning session on the ABCs of Training Objectives. This workshop covered the basics in making brief, concise, clear learning objectives. After lunch, Howard Skolnik of Skolnik Industries did a hands-on session on Writing of packing and closure instructions: an exercise in authorship. Howard gave each table an exercise on writing Continue Reading…
Online shopping – whether from large internet companies such as Amazon, to individual vendors on sites such as eBay – has grown, well, explosively, in the past few years. But with this growth has come a headache for shippers, receivers and regulators. How do you handle online purchases of product that may actually be classified as dangerous goods (or, in the US, as hazardous materials)?
Often, people are not aware that common consumer products may be considered hazardous for transportation. These include:
Cosmetics, such as nail polish remover or perfumes
Flammable liquids, such as paints and adhesives
Smoke detectors containing radioactive sources
Refrigerants (including those in equipment)
Goods with internal combustion engines
Lithium batteries, including batteries packed in or with electronic equipment
There are, of course, provisions in various regulations such as the US Hazardous Materials Regulations of 49 CFR (Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations), and Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. Small packages of dangerous goods can often be shipped more easily under the provisions for Limited Quantities or Consumer Commodities. These provisions, however, do vary from country to country.
In addition, the regulations for shipment by air are much more stringent. Shipments by carriers who specialize in fast delivery may need to comply with the system for air transportation from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), and IATA (International Air Transport Association). These may require additional packaging, labeling Continue Reading…
Many dangerous goods shippers in the United States are finding themselves using new software to complete their IATA shipper’s declaration for air shipments. A new operator variation for Federal Express (FX-18) requires shipper’s declarations be completed using an approved error checking software.
Most of these programs have rules built in to them that force the user to complete specific areas of the declaration with limited options, sometimes based on previous choices. the options given will always be ones that are authorized by the regulations, but the user must still consider their specific product when making choices. Just because the regulations (and software) allow something, doesn’t make it the best choice.
For example, when shipping hydrochloric acid, PG III on cargo aircraft, you must use IATA packing instruction 856. The packing instruction allows the use of metal single packagings. An error checking software will allow a declaration to show metal drums, but it will not, in most cases, alert the shipper that the metal drum must be corrosion resistant, as specified in the packing instruction.
If you find yourself using a new software system to complete your declarations, make sure you know the limitations of the program and make sure that you understand how to use the regulations. Error checking is not the same thing as fully automated!