I recently had the experience of taking a rather in-depth course on the labeling, placarding, and transport of hazardous materials (US domestic ground/air/ocean). I’m officially certified to do these things now! I can tell you that it is really, really complicated. Once upon a time, at my previous job with a national LTL carrier, we had to do a sort of mini-course. It was not particularly in-depth because we had a great computer program that took all of the guesswork out of the process. It even warned us when we tried to load different materials that could not be co-mingled. I now have no such software and I actually have to know my stuff. Today’s post is about the customer issues I see most often.
- Not using proper hazmat shipping name. If you reference 49CFR §172.101, column 2, you will find the proper shipping names of every hazmat substance. The regular type descriptions are required, the italicized type is an optional addition.
- Not providing a real 24-hour emergency contact. The emergency contact and number are there in case the absolute worst happens. The person who answers must be available 24/7 and must be knowledgeable about how to deal with a critical situation. It cannot just be your warehouse manager who may or may not answer the phone at 3am. If you list Chemtrec or another service, you need to have an account with them or you will be fined.
- Not listing the number of packages on a pallet (explosives in particular). This can actually be a carrier-specific requirement, but be prepared to provide the net explosive mass and the number of packages if there are multiples on a pallet.
- Customer does not provide placards. The shipper/consignor is responsible for providing placards for the truck, NOT the carrier.
Don’t try to skate by on this stuff. The maximum civil fine for