Available Now: 2023 Schedule of Hazmat & RCRA Training
Search

Are Ocean Carriers Refusing Hazmat Shipments?

Posted on 9/21/2021 by Roseanne Bottone

Today, hazardous materials shippers face a dearth of cargo containers, long delays for ships waiting outside of ports for loading and unloading, a disruption in schedules, and rising transportation prices. Now, chemical distributors have expressed concerns about systemic reductions for transporting hazardous materials by vessel and the possibility of carriers refusing to book chemical shipments.

These distributors purchase chemical products from foreign manufacturers and sell them to customers in the US. Many of these chemicals are not manufactured domestically. The chemicals are used as ingredients, intermediates, catalysts, reagents and more to produce a wide variety goods. 

At a recent meeting of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Commissioner Carl Bentzel responded to shippers concerns: 
 
“Given the potential implications of systemic refusals by shipping lines, I am urging that we broaden the scope of the Vessel-Operating Common Carrier Audit Program to include review of whether there have been any systemic decisions by ocean carriers to discriminate against hazardous materials transportation. Such a review could be conducted within the existing audit program and will make FMC oversight more focused and thorough during this volatile time.”

Full Statement (September 2, 2021) 

The FMC plans to address the ability of shippers, truckers, and other stakeholders to seek reparations for violations of the Shipping Act–including conduct related to demurrage (i.e., payment to the owner of a ship when loading or unloading is delayed) and detention.

FMC will develop a policy statement to serve as guidance for industry stakeholders and plans to request input on a potential rulemaking to address the issues.   

Full Statement (September 15, 2021) 

Why Would a Carrier Refuse Hazmat?

Why might vessel carriers prefer not to carry hazmat? There may be several reasons:
  • Hazardous materials require cautious handling that can slow loading and unloading operations;
  • They may wish to avoid the strict separation, segregation, and stowage requirements associated with hazmat;
  • If their employees are not handling hazmat, they can eliminate DOT hazmat training and documentation mandates; or
  • They may be prioritizing preferential clients while space and sailing frequency are limited.

What Does the Law Say?

The Common Carrier Code in 46 U.S.C. §41104 prohibits carriers from unreasonably refusing to deal or negotiate (see paragraph (a)(10)).

The General Prohibitions at 46 U.S.C.§ 41102(c) state: A common carriermay not fail to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property.

Complete Multimodal Hazmat Training

Lion delivers hazmat employee training designed to simplify compliance with the latest 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code regulations that shippers must know.

Train online, join us for an instructor-led webinar, or attend the Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshops in 2021. Get your certificate and be confident that your shipments will be accepted for transport by ground, air, or vessel.  

Find your course at Lion.com/Hazmat. 

Tags: chemicals, hazardous materials, hazmat vessel shipping, IMDG Code

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

I was able to present my scenario to the instructor and worked thru the regulations together. In the past, I attended another training firm's classes. Now, I have no intention of leaving Lion!

Diana Joyner

Senior Environmental Engineer

My experience with Lion training, both online and in the classroom, is that they are far better organized and provide a better sequential explanation of the material.

Robert Roose

Manager, Dangerous Goods Transportation

I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.

Jeremy Bost

Environmental Health & Safety Technician

The price was reasonable, the time to complete the course was manageable, and the flexibility the online training allowed made it easy to complete.

Felicia Rutledge

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion is at the top of the industry in compliance training. Course content and structure are updated frequently to make annual re-training enjoyable. I like that Lion has experts that I can contact for 1 year after the training.

Caroline Froning

Plant Chemist

The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.

Tom Berndt

HSE Coordinator

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.

Stephanie Venn

Inventory Control Specialist

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Much better than my previous class with another company. The Lion instructor made sense, kept me awake and made me laugh!

Marti Severs

Enterprise Safety Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Explore the four specific 29 CFR Standards that OSHA inspectors overwhelmingly cite employers for when investigating COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.