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Robert Smith

Robert M. Smith is CEO and senior instructor of CARGOpak Corp. based in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Robert is a dangerous goods and hazmat specialist with more than 30 years experience as a consultant, UN POP designer, and dangerous goods and hazmat training facilitator.  His company consults with clients on various hazmat compliance issues  as well as develops and conducts training on dangerous goods/hazmat transport both domestically and internationally through a variety of training formats including web-based, on-site, and public classes.  Robert has assisted a broad range of clients in dangerous goods/hazmat transport compliance through the United States, Canada and abroad.

For more information about the services provided by Robert and CARGOpak including the most current training schedule, visit www.cargopak.com.

Email Author: rsmith@cargopak.com

Articles Written By Robert Smith

Training Employees Ensures Compliance with Hazmat Shipping Regulations

Robert Smith | January 15, 2018 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

Hazmat compliance is not to be taken lightly. Compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) hazmat regulations really starts with the hazmat employer taking responsibility as an offer or of the articles or substances that are deemed classified as hazardous materials.

These materials must be offered for transport with a statement included in the shipping papers that certifies that a hazardous material shipment is in full compliance. Most bills of lading have wording similar to this incorporated in the fine print somewhere near the bottom of the page:

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Perplexed by Hazmat Shipping Regulations? We Answer 3 Common Questions

Robert Smith | November 20, 2017 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

When working with exporters across the United States providing dangerous goods onsite training, I’ve found many often have the same questions around the topic of hazmat shipping.

In this article I share answers to three of the most frequently asked questions. I think they’ll resonate with you, too.

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A Dangerous Good Shipped by Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet

Robert Smith | October 23, 2017 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

A large international company recently contacted me to review their entire shipping process and propose a solution for complete compliance with domestic and international hazmat regulations.

They were completely frustrated grappling with all the variations that applied to their products of fragrances and perfumes. Their problem was not only interpreting the domestic hazmat regulations, but also the differences that exist when shipping their products internationally.

As I wrote in a previous blog post, the hazmat regulations that apply to a company's domestic shipments don’t necessarily apply to international shipments.

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Creating the IATA Dangerous Goods Form: The Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods

Robert Smith | September 11, 2017 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

Before you can ship dangerous goods, you need to properly complete the required transport documents: the air waybill and the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods.

The main purpose of the Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD) is for the shipper to provide critical information to the aircraft operator or carrier in a format that is consistent throughout the transportation industry. This standard is part of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR).

Section 8 of the IATA DGR begins with the statement: “A Shipper’s Declaration must be completed by the shipper for each consignment of dangerous goods.”

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Hazardous Materials or Dangerous Goods?

Robert Smith | August 21, 2017 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

Depending on whether you ship domestically within the U.S. or you import and/or export and ship internationally, the regulations for shipping hazardous materials and dangerous goods have a variety of similarities and differences.

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The Art and Science of Packing a Shipping Container—Part 3

Robert Smith | January 5, 2015 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

If you don’t think it’s important to put some real thought into how you pack your shipping containers, keep this in mind: Losses from improperly packed containers add up to $5 billion a year worldwide. In addition to the loss of your own cargo, shippers who incorrectly pack their containers are liable for damages caused to other containers and the vessel itself. Worse yet, cargo insurance doesn’t cover these losses if the shipper is proven to be negligent.

In Part 1 of this series of articles, I described the important things to consider before you even begin loading a shipping container. In Part 2, I discussed the art and science of readying a container for its voyage. In this third and final part of the series, I’ll review the additional requirements for packing and shipping dangerous goods.

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The Art and Science of Packing a Shipping Container—Part 2

Robert Smith | December 1, 2014

Once you've gone through the hard work of getting an export shipment produced and the documentation all in order, some may treat the actual packing of the shipping container to be less critical.

In Part 1 of this series of articles, I described the important things to consider before you even begin loading a shipping container. In this article, I’ll discuss the art and science of readying your container for its voyage.

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The Art and Science of Packing a Shipping Container—Part 1

Robert Smith | November 3, 2014

If you don’t think it’s important to put some real thought into how you pack your shipping containers, keep this in mind: Losses from improperly packed containers add up to $5 billion a year worldwide.

In addition to the loss of your own cargo, shippers who incorrectly pack their containers are liable for damages caused to other containers and the vessel itself. Worse yet, cargo insurance doesn’t cover these losses if the shipper is proven to be negligent.

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The Potential Disastrous Consequences of Mislabeling Your Dangerous Goods

Robert Smith | September 29, 2014 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

What’s in a name? When it comes to properly identifying dangerous goods, lots!

There are approximately 3,000 regulated articles and substances listed with an internationally accepted Proper Shipping Name (PSN) and a specific four-digit number associated with each one. With so many to choose from it’s critical that you, the shipper, get it right. If you don’t, the consequences could be catastrophic.

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The High Cost of Ignoring Hazardous Materials Regulations: A $91,000 Can of Paint

Robert Smith | September 1, 2014 | Dangerous Goods/Hazmat

That paint was expensive!

Understanding the regulations for shipping hazardous materials such as paint can be confusing, but the cost of improperly preparing and classifying your hazardous materials can be incredibly expensive. And yet, once again, we see the fallout from several companies who shipped undeclared hazardous materials improperly packaged by untrained staff.

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