Passages

The International Trade Blog

Robert Smith

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

Hazardous Materials vs. Dangerous Goods: What's the Difference?

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

Before you can ship dangerous goods by air, 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).

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Training Employees Ensures Compliance with Hazmat Shipping Regulations

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

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

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

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 this article, I described the important things to consider before you even begin loading a shipping container. In this 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 1

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

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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DOT Increases Penalties for Non-Compliant Hazmat Shipping

As a hazardous materials trainer and consultant for nearly 30 years, I am always amazed by the complacency some companies that ship hazardous materials have towards the gravity of the hazmat regulations. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, if not done properly, a routine shipment can cost a shipper an awful lot of money.

Time and time again, usually after the fact, the guilty shipper will say things like: "We only ship this stuff occasionally." Are we supposed to gather it's only hazardous sometimes? Or, "We've always ship it this way and never had a problem," assuming two wrongs make a right.

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