As we’ve covered before, hazardous material handling, shipping, and disposal can be tricky. There’s so many legalities and rules involved that it seems like there isn’t a “best way” to go about the process. However, Interlog USA has tons of experience shipping hazardous materials and has boiled down some of the most common practices to these 5 tips for streamlining hazardous material shipping.
Top 4 Tips for Streamlining Hazardous Material Shipping
We encourage everyone who deals with hazardous material shipping to be cautious and detailed in all shipping documents. Overlooking details that may seem unimportant to you can cause for hefty fines or transportation disasters. Here are some tips to streamline the hazardous material shipping process.
1. Select an Experienced Carrier or 3PL
While most carriers or 3PL’s may claim they are capable of shipping hazardous materials, this isn’t always the case. The “cradle-to-grave” responsibility stated in prior blog posts is a good reminder to only select those you trust to handle your hazardous materials, since any damage caused by the waste is considered fault of the generator. Carriers or 3PL’s need to have connections with truck drivers that are licensed hazardous material handlers and who only drive trucks that are licensed as hazardous material hauling vehicles.
Apart from network connections, it’s important that your carrier or 3PL understands hazardous materials well. Some goods must be stored at certain temperatures, packaged in very specific ways, and handled with different degrees of care. Ask you transportation provider if they have experience moving similar products to learn more. Any business like Interlog USA should be able to handle hazardous material shipping with ease.
2. Plan Well In-Advance
As stated, streamlining hazardous material shipping requires very particular shipping accommodations. In this instance, it is important to remember that last-minute accommodations for hazardous material shipping are often difficult to handle. If you produce/buy hazardous material on a consistent basis, get in the habit of preparing for shipments in advance.
Labeling should be amongst your top concerns when it comes to streamlining hazardous material shipping. Simple misstating of materials/chemicals being transported can lead to big financial penalties and improper handling – ultimately resulting in the spillage of contents. Carriers, warehouses, steamships, stores, buyers – they all need to know exactly what is coming in and out of their doors for the sake of proper handling and distribution. Which leads to the next point…
4. Hazardous Material Storage
In terms of your work environment that is. If you work in a warehouse, focus on placing hazardous goods apart from non-hazardous materials. It lowers the risk of these goods damaging others and contaminating a work environment. For those in the retail business, it is a good idea to keep hazardous materials separate from others in the back. When chemicals cannot be supervised 24/7, it is not smart to leave them next to reacting agents, machinery, or other damageable assets. It is a good idea to speak with floor managers of warehouses to better understand how you should handle and organize your hazardous materials for your particular environment.
Most of our tips to you regarding streamlining hazardous material shipping and storage boil down to this – do your research! Never select a carrier without having full certainty that they have handled similar cargo. Avoid storing your materials without researching the safest options. Research hazardous material labeling practices to ensure you label, document, and describe everything correctly. While some of it may come across as confusing and complex, in the end, it’s simple if you do your research.
As always, if you are confused about anything or would like more information regarding streamlining hazardous material shipping, give one of our team members a call and we would be happy to help you out!