Incorporating Automation When Shipping Dangerous Goods: Are There Benefits?
Out with the old and in with the new – well, not exactly, but as the continued growth and demand for faster shipping, labor shortages, and other supply chain issues, many in the industry have continued to look for creative, innovative, and efficient ways to improve the supply chain and all the moving parts in between. In fact, around 50 percent of supply chain organizations plan on investing in applications that support artificial intelligence and advanced analytics capabilities by the end of 2024.
The Challenges of Shipping Dangerous Goods
When it comes to shipping dangerous goods (DG), they can always poise some additional challenges compared to shipping non-dangerous goods. By definition, dangerous goods are any solids, liquids, or gases that can harm people, property, the environment, or any other living organisms. Dangerous goods are also expected to go through specific transport regulations. They must be properly classified, labeled, packaged, marked, placarded, described and certificated on a transport document – they usually are assigned a UN number and proper shipping name, Chem Safety Pro stated.
It is important to note that regulations on dangerous goods can vary depending on the country, transportation mode, and many other factors – this makes it much more difficult (and time consuming) when preparing DG shipments, as they need to be compliant with the latest regulations.
In addition, many companies still rely on manual compliance processes that not only take up more time than wanted, but they also are more likely to have errors. There is a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to dangerous goods and because of that a lot of the budget for companies, gets directed to other areas in the supply chain.
The Benefits of Automation when Shipping Dangerous Goods
So, what are some of the benefits of incorporating automation when shipping dangerous goods?
Improving efficiency and creating smoother operations: Having software that helps manage dangerous good can help ensure smooth, consistent, and reliable operations for customers. Including producing documentation and validating shipments, packaging, labels and marking against the latest regulations. As well as having templates and electronic signatures which help improve efficiencies or organizations who have repetitive shipments from multiple locations, Supply Chain Brain states.
Reduced risk and improved financial performance: When shipping DG there is a lot of risk involved, but with the use of automation that risk can get reduced. Specifically, when companies use specific technology to help ensure repeatable and essential compliance processes for every shipment. On the financial side of things, automating DG shipment validation can help companies avoid fines and maintain lean operations by ensuring that all shipments are compliant with the latest regulations, Supply Chain Brain stated.
More supply chain transparency and better use of labor and training: Having DG shipping software that is reliable, effective and accurate allows those that are not just involved in the hands on managing part of DG shipments, but third-party logistics providers, carriers, customers, and other supply chain partners as well. Having automation can also improve labor shortages, something that has had a significant impact on industry since the pandemic began.
Making the Switch to Automation
Organizations that are interested in investing into automation for dangerous goods shipping should look for shipping software that is specific for DG. This will make for a more improved automation process, but a central area for stakeholders to access all of the storage and maintenance of the data necessary as well.
The right technology and processes can make the move to automation a fairly simple transition. Of course, just adding in automation will not completely turn around and improve the operations of shipping dangerous goods, but it is a tool that if used correctly, can have an impact on the efficiency of shipping DG and improve customer satisfaction as well.
If you would like more information regarding this topic, contact our team at InterlogUSA and we will be happy to assist you on any questions or comments you may have! In addition, we have our weekly market updates that can provide you with relevant freight news, updates, developments across the industry, and more.