Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-8SP

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-8SP.

  1. The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 4.2 kg to 5.4 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has been updated to reflect this change.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 27, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Lithium Battery Special Provision

Q. Why is only a reference to Packing Instruction Section IB required on a lithium battery Shipper’s Declaration – what about shipments made under Section I or IA?

A. Sections I and IA refer to fully regulated shipments so it’s redundant to indicate an authorization unless there’s a special provision deviation involved.

Although Section II shipments don’t require a Shipper’s Declaration document, if an airwaybill is used a notation must be made indicating the Section II status like ‘’Lithium ion batteries in compliance with Section II of PI— CAO’’.

This is particularly true for UN3090 or UN3480 where the document is required to indicate the CAO status.

Shippers also need to verify any listed state or operator variations that may require information over that mandate by IATA DGR.

Determining the Size of the Package

Q. I have a customer who wants a “portable tank” of product instead of our usual smaller sized containers, can I oblige?

A:

  • Characterize your product,
  • read the container supplier’s specification,
  • read the relevant regulation,
  • read the cited container standard; review 1. & 2. in the context of 3. & 4; decide on any required modifications.

Shipping Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 20, 2017

Top 5 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Overpacks

Q. My shipment was refused even though I followed what the regulations and my training said for shipping an overpack. My drums were on a pallet and shrink wrapped. All of the information on the drums could be seen. I placed a sticker with the words “Overpack Used” on the shrink wrap and listed it that way on my paperwork. Can you tell me why my carrier refused it?

A. Per Section 7.1.7 the actual wording that must be used on your pallet is just the word “overpack”. It seems confusing to have different terminology used but that is how the regulations work and why you should be trained every 2 years for IATA.

Using Combustible Liquid, N.O.S. (USA)

Q. Since this product meets the combustible definition, can we use ‘NA1993 Combustible Liquids, n.o.s.’ to ship to Canada or does Canada only recognize the ‘UN1993 Flammable Liquids, n.o.s.’?

A. Basically, to me, she is asking what is the difference between NA1993 and UN1993 and how it impacts transporting into Canada. NA1993 is a US only identification number. It is used for transporting combustible liquids in the US.  Technically, a combustible liquid is NOT Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-30CA

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-30CA (PK-N2QTC/N2QTCA)

  1. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-11SP, BX-10SP, and BX-87DU

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made:

BX-11SP

  1. The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 2.8 kg to 3.5 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has been updated to reflect this change.

BX-87DU

  1. The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 24.3 kg to 25.2 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has
    been updated to reflect this change.
  2. The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.

BX-10SP

  1. The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 16.0 kg to 18.5 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has been updated to reflect this change.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Single Packaging
What About Cobb … Testing?

Splash drops of water on cardboard

What is Cobb Testing?

If you previously read my blog Anatomy of A box, you learned about the various components that make up a corrugated box. The construction of a box can become even more complicated for dangerous goods. Not only do you need to provide strong, durable corrugated boxes that can withstand drops and movement during transportation, but they must also be able to withstand various weather conditions including snow and rain.

How can box manufacturers and test labs ensure that dangerous goods packaging is safe to use when it gets wet? This is where the Cobb test comes in handy. This test helps determine the quantity of water that can be absorbed by the surface of paper or board in a given time. In this case, the less water that absorbs into the corrugated, the better. In fact as per § 178.516 of CFR 49 as well as TP 14850 7.8 this test is a requirement.

Cobb Testing

Why Cobb Testing?

Cobb tests are performed, because paper and fiberboard tend to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. The Cobb test is essential as it tests the ability of the paper to resist the penetration of water and quantity of water absorbed by the surface of fiberboard. If fiberboard absorbs too much water, the box may have difficulty maintaining strength and integrity. In fact, the inner fluting can Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Latin, Vince Lombardi, & Packaging Selection

Man preparing shipment

Practice Makes Perfect

Most of us have heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect”. I did when learning my multiplication tables. Others hear it in reference to playing sports. What is interesting is the phrase originates from the 1500’s. In Latin, it is ‘Uses promptos facit‘ which translates to ‘use makes mastery’. Vince Lombardi, American football player and coach, said it differently. For him, “Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect” was the correct way to say it. The intent is the same. The only way to get batter at something is to practice it.

So how does that relate to making the correct packaging selection for shipments of hazardous materials? A shipper should practice using the regulation and the UN Specification Markings together before making any decisions on packaging. When working with clients in transportation training sessions I always remind participants that packaging is two-fold. You have to use what the regulations say and what the marking on your packaging allows. Let’s do a practice problem to show what I mean.

Steel Drum MT0M502

Practice Problems:

Problem #1:

Can a shipper put 16 Liters of UN1114 Benzene into a steel drum with a non-removable head for a US Ground shipment using 49 CFR? Benzene has a specific gravity of 0.876 g/ml. The drum has the code 1A1 / Y1.8 / 250 / 16 on it.

Solving Process/Logic: First, the shipper has to understand what the specification marking Continue Reading…

Bear awareness icon
Hazmat Packaging Bears Rigorous Testing

Hazmat Packaging Specs

Shippers of Hazardous Materials (or Dangerous Goods) know that the packaging they use has to meet certain specifications and pass standard tests before it can be considered appropriate for the hazardous shipment. Most training classes will explain that the package design must go through various tests to simulate conditions they may encounter during transport.

I started to wonder if users of the packaging really understand the conditions these designs are put through. No, it doesn’t look like this…

… but a few of the tests are quite rigorous! Below are some examples.

  • Drop Test – Drop testing is done on five test samples. The samples are prepared as they are intended to be used by a shipper. Each sample is dropped on a different surface of the package (top, bottom, long side, short side, and corner) from a height between 2.9 and 5.9 feet (0.8 – 1.8 meters), depending on the packing group of the materials that are going to be authorized. Any release of sample material during any of the drops is considered a failure.
  • Stack Test – Stack testing is done on three test samples. The samples are subjected to force that is equivalent to the weight of identical packages stacked to 3 meters. The samples must withstand the weight for 24 hours without leaking or showing any damage or distortion that could reduce Continue Reading…
Toxic
The Zika Virus — Public Health Crisis and Regulatory Puzzle

Zika virus – the name itself sounds exotic and dangerous. It is believed to be a serious risk for pregnant women. And it’s due to arrive in North America. Just how great a danger is this virus, and how should research and medical facilities prepare for the regulatory burden?

First of all, Zika is not a new virus. It has been known since the 1950s in equatorial Africa and Asia, but only recently has it appeared to migrate to new territories, including South and Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. It is primarily a mosquito-borne illness, transmitted by the Aedes genus of mosquitos. Possibly climate change has increased the populations of these mosquitos in the areas where Zika is spreading. Aedes mosquitos are found in some parts of the U.S., and although they are not currently believed to be in Canada, they may spread as the climate warms. Person-to-person transmission by body fluids is possible, but this would be relatively rare compared to the mosquito vector.

Zika is classed in the Flaviviridae family of viruses, along with dengue fever, West Nile virus and the notoriously dangerous yellow fever. However, compared to these, Zika is usually a mild affliction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only one in five persons infected with the virus shows any symptoms at all. For those who do fall ill, the symptoms Continue Reading…

When an Ordinary Box Isn’t so Ordinary After All (HazMat Box)

We have all used a fiberboard (or cardboard as most people call it) box to ship something. It may have been a box of gifts for a friend or family member, or a package of merchandise for a client at work. Most of the time, you probably didn’t give much thought to the box other than to make sure it was sturdy enough and big enough to contain what you were shipping. For these typical kinds of shipments, that ordinary box will do just fine. HazMat (or dangerous goods) shipments, however, aren’t ordinary and neither is the box that they need to be shipped in.

The packaging industry is a science in itself, with ever evolving processes, techniques, materials, treatments, and regulations. HazMat packaging is a specialized area of packaging technology, and it has some very specific requirements that must be followed. Even though a HazMat box may look identical to a standard shipping carton, there are some significant “behind the scenes” differences between them!

  1. Material matters! When dealing with HazMat boxes, there are specific tolerances for manufacturing. The combination of materials used to make up the fiberboard has very little wiggle room once the design has been approved and certified. Changes in the material may invalidate the certification and make the boxes non-compliant.
  2. Proven performance! HazMat boxes have to be put to the test before they can be Continue Reading…