Are You a Hazmat Shipper of Choice?

Posted on 7/15/2019 by Roger Marks

The American Chemistry Council estimates that increased chemical production will result in 1.8 million more annual chemical shipments by 2020 (see page 8). With the number of shipments increasing, demand for freight movers is quickly out pacing availability.
Challenges like a shortage of drivers and restrictive hours of service (HOS) requirements mean that hazardous materials carriers are now more selective about who they work with. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are now mandated as well, meaning drivers can not afford to wait for a shipment to be loaded. Every minute counts, and every minute is accounted for.     

Finding drivers with the proper credentials, including a hazardous materials endorsement, is an ongoing challenge as well. These difficulties make it critical for chemical shippers to become “shippers of choice,” a concept that’s emerged to describe shippers whom carriers can rely on to offer shipments on schedule and without delays.

For chemical shippers, hazardous materials compliance is one major way to gain a competitive edge and become a “shipper of choice.”    

Keep Hazmat Training Up to Date

US DOT requires hazmat training for all employees who affect the safety of hazardous materials in transportation, and re-training is required once every three years. An employee with lapsed hazmat training may not perform his or her normal hazmat job functions, be it packaging materials, affixing marks and labels, handling shipments, loading, or even filling out shipping papers.

If you don't have enough trained employees to do the work it takes to properly prepare hazmat for transport, shipments will be delayed. This can lead to wait times that drivers want to avoid. 

Find online hazmat training for employees or attend the expert-led Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Workshop presented nationwide.  

With a well-trained workforce behind each shipment, a driver can confidently accept hazardous materials without worrying that an incident or release will slow him or her down a few miles down the road.

Review Your Shipping Procedures

Hazardous chemical shipments that are packaged, marked, labeled, or documented incorrectly result in delays—delays that shipper and carriers cannot afford in today’s transportation environment. If packages, containers, or tanks fail in transit, the costs can be devastating, and not just from the standpoint of lost time.

From damaged freight to highway closures and emergency response, a hazmat incident has enormous effects on supply chain efficiency. By keeping your procedures up to date with the latest regulations and best shipping practices, you can ensure your shipments are loaded and delivered safely and on time.  

Need a hand with hazmat compliance? Lion offers hazmat consulting services to help you properly classify and prepare your shipments for full acceptance by ground, air, or vessel carriers.

Check Up on Your Hazmat Software Solutions

One strategy that shippers use to gain efficiency in their hazmat shipping operations is to utilize software solutions that conveniently create shipping papers, illustrate proper packaging, and help ensure overall compliance.

Shippers should check to ensure these solutions are operating from the latest versions of applicable regulations such as 49 CFR, the IATA DGR, and the IMDG Code. If the software is outdated, it may be providing inaccurate or incomplete information.

For ten more tips on becoming a shipper of choice, check out this article in Inbound Logistics.

Nationwide DOT Hazmat Workshops

Develop the in-depth expertise you need to ensure compliance with the latest 49 CFR (US DOT), IATA DGR, and IMDG Code regulations that impact your hazardous materials shipments. With workshops offered in more than 50 US cities, Lion’s expert-led training is never far away.

Catch the Complete Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshops to satisfy your US DOT, IATA, and IMDG training mandates in 2019:
Atlanta, GA July 30–Aug. 1
Nashville, TN Aug. 5–8
Jacksonville, FL Aug. 13–16
Houston, TX  Sept. 10–13
Dallas, TX Sept. 16–19
San Francisco, CA Oct. 8–11
San Diego, CA Oct. 15–18


Tags: DOT, hazardous materials, Hazmat compliance, hazmat shipping, shipper of choice

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