Repacking Dangerous Goods
When the Finished Package Resembles Christmas Lights

A lot of Labels!

A Lot of Labels

It’s not often that you’ll see more than 2 hazard labels on a DG package, but the one I did this week had 5 hazard labels plus 3 handling labels. So a total of 8 labels on a package. Yes, that is a lot.

I received a panic call from a freight forwarder who picked up a rejected package from a passenger airline and didn’t know what to do with it. It was a rush shipment to get to Australia. I asked him what was being shipped and he said, “a fire extinguisher and some cans of glue”. I advised him to bring the package and all accompanying documents over to our office and I will get it packaged up properly for air transport. He showed up an hour later.

This is what the box looked like when it came in:

A lot of labels 2

I reviewed the shipper’s declaration which the shipper did complete and the markings/labels on the box and it was incorrect for numerous reasons. I told the freight forwarder that the person who prepared this shipment is not certified to ship via air. An air certified individual may make an error or two, but not 10. It was evident this person did not know what they were doing. I asked for the MSDS/SDS for the products. The fire extinguisher was obvious, but there were 4 small Continue Reading…

Mistakes on Shipping Papers Can be a Thing of the Past

Declarations are part of every dangerous goods shipment, no matter if you are shipping by ground, air or ocean. A trained individual must complete the document, indicating items such as the consignee, the consignor, the type and amount of dangerous goods, as well as the type of packaging and packing instruction (by air or marine).

In recent years, typewriters have become a thing of the past, and many people use computer templates to complete the documents. However, we are humans after all, and even well-trained individuals make mistakes.

A few years ago, FedEx Express® required shipments originating in the US to use “error-checking software”. The goal: to improve those little mistakes.

In a recent IATA addendum, FedEx Express® modified FX-18.

FX-18 Shipper’s Declarations for dangerous goods for all FedEx Express® dangerous goods shipments originating in the U.S. must be prepared using software with dangerous goods compliance edit checks and by one of the following methods:

  • Certain FedEx electronic shipping solutions;
  • Recognized shipper proprietary software; or
  • FedEx recognized dangerous goods vendor software.

What does this mean? Shippers’ in Canada will need to comply. Starting May 1, 2014, FedEx Express® will only accept dangerous goods where the air declaration form is completed using a recognized “error-checking” software.

As a leader in compliance solutions, we are once again pleased to offer DGOffice, a simple easy-to-use solution for completing dangerous goods declarations. Options are available for air, ground and Continue Reading…

Shipping Something Less Familiar — Bromine

What does one do when the need to ship something outside the realm of “ordinary” arises?

Last month I had to ship a couple of small bottles of bromine for a client. It was more involved than I originally expected.  Before even getting close to the bottle, I wanted to know what was so bad about it. Why is bromine hazardous?

I read through the MSDS to get an idea of what I was about to work with. This shipment was going by ocean so I also had a look at the IMDG code. According to IMDG, it has an extremely irritating odour, is a powerful oxidant, and is highly corrosive to most metals. Also, it is toxic if swallowed, by skin contact or by inhalation. Furthermore, it can cause burns to skin, eyes and mucous membranes. To say the least, it is pretty nasty stuff.

Here is the classification:
UN 1744, BROMINE, CLASS 8(6.1), PG I

As you can see, it is Packing Group I material. I went to IMDG packing instruction P804 to see what was required for packaging and found that it read completely different than the normal P001 and P002 that one frequently sees. This instruction lists four possible ways that this material can be packaged, all varying depending on what type of inner package is used to contain the actual liquid. To give you an idea, Part 1 refers to using Continue Reading…

Dangerous Goods Logistics – Plan for Savings

Shipping dangerous goods can be an expensive process. Employee training, specification packaging, insurance premiums, DG freight surcharges, rejected shipments – these are just a few costs that are incurred by those who ship dangerous goods. While some of these costs are fixed, many can be reduced if a little planning is done on the front end.  To avoid wasting unnecessary money, here are a few points to consider before you package your shipment:

  • Freight forwarders – a useful resource to organize the movement of your freight to its final destination. Many make the mistake of assuming they shop around for the cheapest rates or method; however, freight forwarders are often restricted to carriers they have contracts with, and with how the package is currently being offered for transport

  • Cargo Aircraft Only – when shipping by air, this always appears like the best option because the quantities allowed are so much less restrictive than passenger planes. Putting all your containers inside one giant box isn’t always the smartest choice, though. Unless you are shipping with a courier which exclusively uses cargo planes, like FedEx, cargo planes service far fewer destinations and are generally more expensive
  • Consolidated shipments – many companies don’t think twice about shipping dangerous goods and non-hazardous cargo together. The problem lies in the fact that dangerous goods shipments are usually subject to steep surcharges. Although a consolidation may be convenient, it may also result in Continue Reading…