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 cans of products with WHMIS info on them. The freight forwarder asked the shipper to email me the MSDS/SDS for each, which he did. After reading the MSDS/SDS, these so called “cans of glue” turned into 3 different hazard classes. There were 2 cans of glue (adhesives), 1 can of corrosive, and 1 can of miscellaneous. This is why I always ask for MSDS/SDS to verify the material I am packaging.

I called the shipper to ask if he prefers to have all the products in one box as they came to me in one box. He said if I can do so. Which I could, based on Table 9.3.A of the IATA Regulations. I asked him if he was trained to ship DG via air and he said, “no”. He said he has ground training and took the air course about 10 years ago. So, I very nicely explained to him that a person needs to have current training in that mode of transport to be able to ship a DG shipment and that an air certification is only good for 2 years. Advised him to either get the air training (gave him ICC online training options) or he can send it to me in Vancouver via ground and I can prepare the shipment for air transport. He said he would rather just send it to me from here on.

I finished packaging it up; when the freight forwarder came back to get the package he said “that doesn’t look anything like what I brought in” ☺. It was definitely an interesting one because it was an “all packed in one” within an “overpack”. Who doesn’t love calculating the Q factor!

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