Archive for News

DG Digest: USPS to require triple packaging for most liquids

The St. Patrick’s Day holiday found regulatory activity at moderate pace.  Perhaps the biggest news?  The US Post Office released its long awaited updated to the rules for shipping liquids in the mail.  See that, and all the latest news, right here: PHMSA The agency published three sets of special permit actions.  As is typically... Read more [...]

Supply Chain Moves: Week of March 18, 2019

Week of March 18, 2019 Linking technology news with Dangerous Goods compliance New technologies have a ripple effect across the supply chain, especially when these technologies are classified as “dangerous.” To help companies keep a pulse on technology trends impacting business and the movement of dangerous goods throughout the supply chain, Labelmaster has launched “Supply... Read more [...]

Industrial Pack 2019: More networking, more experts, more hazmat

Ever see kids have more fun with the box than the toy that came inside it? That’s us. To most people, a shipping package is just a container, something to open so they can use whatever’s inside. But to Dangerous Goods pros, a package is a critical compliance tool. We respect the science, engineering and

DG Digest: PHMSA harmonizes with ICAO on lithium battery transport

The second full week in March finds PHMSA having published its lithium battery by air revisions, and, just to make things interesting, the agency threw in a twist.  See the details below.  Meanwhile, Spring Break season is here.  Make sure your employees don’t get distracted from their need to be safe—a looming vacation can often

DOT PHMSA Lithium Battery Interim Final Rule (IFR) Effective Immediately

The long-awaited DOT PHMSA Interim Final Rule (IFR) enhancing the safety provisions for lithium batteries transported by aircraft appeared in the Federal Register this week on March 6th. This IFR generally harmonizes the 49 CFR with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (regulations effective in the ICAO TI

Hazmat pros—with HM-215O coming, how do you spell “harmonization?”

Last week we shared transatlantic viewpoints on confidence in Dangerous Goods compliance. This week, our experts talk about harmonization between Europe and North America. The supply chain is more global than it’s ever been. Yet Dangerous Goods regulations still vary from country to country. The differences in hazmat regulations between Europe and North America are—thankfully—nowhere... Read more [...]

DG Digest: PHMSA releases draft rule: lithium battery harmonization may be upon us

PHMSA The agency, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration and pursuant to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of 2015, issued a final rule to revise and clarify requirements for comprehensive oil spill response plans (COSRPs) and to expand their applicability based on petroleum oil thresholds that apply to an entire train... Read more [...]

Why are American hazmat pros less confident? Two experts weigh in.

Remember, back when you were in school, the feeling of walking out of a final exam knowing you absolutely nailed it? That’s how we want Dangerous Goods pros to feel about their operations every day—like they got every last detail right, and that all their outcomes will be positive. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. Year

DG Digest: PHMSA seeks renewal of ICRs for transport of radioactive materials in commerce

The last weekend of February finds the nation still coping with heavy winter weather.  Perhaps March will see things get better, but don’t let up on your efforts to keep employees safe from snow and ice, and keep hoping for an early spring!  Meanwhile, regulatory activity was somewhat lighter this week.  Here’s the latest: PHMSA... Read more [...]

Supply Chain Moves: Week of February 18, 2019

Week of February 18, 2019 Linking technology news with Dangerous Goods compliance Technology innovation continues to change how we do business. For companies that handle dangerous goods, technology adoption and integration is critical in order to effectively and efficiently comply with complex regulations and maintain a smooth, safe and secure supply chain. To help companies

DG Digest: OSHA issues guidance aiming to protect workers from lithium batteries worn as personal equipment

Mid-February finds a variety of action taking place on the regulatory front as everyone waits for winter to run its course.  With the shutdown now receding, agencies have ramped back up to normal operations, and are busy with their schedules.  Here’s all the latest: FAA The agency published the renewal of an ICR affecting Part... Read more [...]

The Labelmaster guide to Valentine’s Day hazmat shipping

Today is the day when people all over the world celebrate love. This celebration is often manifested by the sending of cherished missives and objects from lover to lover. While the standard Valentine’s card or box of chocolates requires no special measures, it’s important to realize that many romantic notions have Dangerous Goods implications. We

Supply Chain Moves: Week of February 11, 2019

Week of February 11, 2019 Linking technology news with Dangerous Goods compliance Technology innovation is a key driver in taking the supply chain forward and changing how you do business. Best-in-class companies that handle Dangerous Goods (DG) understand that technology adoption and integration is critical to effectively and efficiently complying with complex, constantly changing regulations... Read more [...]

DG Digest: FRA publishes emergency relief docket and DOT reviewing need for some external guidance documents

The last two weeks found federal agencies slowly returning to their normal schedules following the recent shutdown.  The result?  A much busier DG Digest!  Meanwhile, much of the country is experiencing the grip of the depth of winter.  Is your workplace safe for employees?  Remember to keep your walkways clear and dry, watch inside flooring... Read more [...]

Total value of compliance, Part 3: Creating new revenue from DG compliance

Managing a Dangerous Goods shipping operation is a lot like running a farm. It may seem like all you do is spend money, while the potential profits are hard to imagine—and a long way off. But if a farmer makes every decision with that long term in mind, the operation is much more likely to

Total value of compliance, Part 2: What do compliance gaps actually cost you?

Every hazmat pro knows a Dangerous Goods shipment that doesn’t comply with current regulations could end up costing their company money. In fact, 28% of hazmat pros surveyed in our 2018 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook said their companies comply with regulations only because the regulations mandate it. In other words, all they want to

DG Digest: OSHA rescinds rule for some employers to efile injury and illness rates

After a hiatus tied to the government shutdown, the DG Digest returns along with the reopening Monday morning of the federal agencies we cover.  What will the now-ended shutdown’s impact be?  It’s difficult to say for certain.  The biggest item on PHMSA’s agenda is the HM-215O international harmonization NPRM; comments on that are scheduled to... Read more [...]

Total value of compliance, Part 1: Assessing your hazmat processes and procurement

Trick question: Do you spend too much on Dangerous Goods compliance? Most hazmat professionals would probably answer “yes.” Whenever we have to spend money on something that doesn’t show an immediate benefit, it always feels like we’re spending too much. And there’s no getting around it—Dangerous Goods compliance requires a financial outlay. But the real... Read more [...]

How a free Total Value of Compliance Assessment can make your hazmat operation more profitable

Late last year, we introduced a new concept to the Dangerous Goods galaxy: total value of compliance. It’s a new way of thinking about supply chain operations that views hazmat compliance as not just a cost of doing business, but also as a value-added component that contributes to profitability. Maybe you read that post, and

DOT Departments Limit Services During Continued Government Shutdown

Have you been curious how the partial Government shutdown has affected the Department of Transportation (DOT) offices? DOT recently issued a plan document outlining how each office is operating during the current funding freeze. It includes a summary of personnel affected (working vs. furloughed), as well as summaries of continuing operations and suspended activities. Hazardous... Read more [...]

Hazmat hopes 2019: Top Dangerous Goods professionals share their wishes

Work in Dangerous Goods long enough, and you may find yourself wishing things were different. Couldn’t that new IATA regulation be worded more clearly? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to explain Limited Quantities to your customer—for the third time? And how exactly does a 2mm-thick label border make a hazmat shipment safer?

DG Digest: 2019 ADR eFile and Corrigenda & UPS DG Tables and Variations Now Available

Happy New Year!  The first blog post of the year for the DG Digest finds the ongoing government shutdown still in effect.  As such, US regulatory activity is minimal.  As of press time, there was no new information on the impact the shutdown may have on federal regulatory schedules or other activity moving forward.  The

10 must-have items for hazmat shipping when your eyelashes freeze

Happy New Year! For those of us in northern climes, we’re well past the isn’t-winter-wonderful? phase and well into the enough-already-with-the-freezing-rain phase. Yet Dangerous Goods shipments don’t care if your eyelashes freeze together or your fingertips go numb. Your customers and supply chain partners still expect your shipments to be safe, compliant and on time,... Read more [...]

From hazmat hopes to new paradigms: Our top 12 posts of 2018

If you only have time to read one blog about the Dangerous Goods supply chain, we’re glad you make it ours. And if you don’t even get the time to read our blog every week, here are our top 12 posts from the last year, in chronological order: Hazmat hopes: A 2018 wish list from

DG Digest: Regulatory news from PHMSA, FMCSA, EPA and more as 2018 ends with partial government shutdown.

The end of the year finds portions of the federal government shut down, including the Department of Transportation. At press time, there was no specific information or guidance on either the DOT or PHMSA websites as to the exact impact that this shutdown will have on regulatory schedules or other departmental activity. This column will... Read more [...]

Total value of compliance, as explained by Chicago Bears fans

Lots of us at Labelmaster are excited about our hometown Chicago Bears, who are poised to make the National Football League playoffs for the first time in eight years. As one of the league’s biggest turnaround stories, the Bears have made sharp improvements in several statistical categories. One improvement that gets very little attention? Penalty

DG Digest: FMCSA reopens comment period on hazmat endorsements

As we roll into the last few weeks of the year, regulatory activity has stayed relatively busy for a period during which it usually isn’t.  Is this a harbinger for a busy 2019, perhaps?  We’ll see!  Meanwhile, remember to stay safe during the holiday season—it’s an easy time to get distracted, whether at home or

2018: The year in Dangerous Goods regulations

2018 was a relatively quiet year in the Dangerous Goods galaxy, with few major new regulatory changes and no unexpected surprises from domestic or international regulatory bodies. Still, as Labelmaster’s Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Corporate Responsibility, I hear all the questions from our customers and partners about how best to comply with regulations. This

How CEVA’s Rusty McMains makes the C-Suite pay attention to hazmat

In today’s supply chain, the way people think about Dangerous Goods transport is evolving. It used to be common for organizations to view hazmat compliance as a necessary evil—just a cost of doing business. They cared about safety, and they cared about avoiding delays and civil penalties, but that was the extent of their concern.

How Your Systems Can Simplify Hazmat and Multi-Carrier Shipping Compliance to Fuel Growth

Businesses today are in a constant struggle to grow revenues, control costs, and (for shippers of dangerous goods) reduce business risks. Thanks to advancing technology, managing your hazmat shipping processes is easier than ever, but it takes proactive planning and thought to apply the right technology to the right points in your enterprise, especially in... Read more [...]

DG Digest: IATA updates lithium battery handling guidance and the FAA posts 2019 drug and alcohol testing rates

Our entry into December and the full-on holiday season finds regulatory activity back to a slightly lower level after last week’s big HM-215O release.  Don’t let the holiday rush impact your workplace’s safety plan; many people have busy schedules and lots to do away from the job for the next month or so.  Be sure... Read more [...]

Why “total value of compliance” is a new paradigm for hazmat shippers

Why do you pursue Dangerous Goods compliance? Take a moment before you answer, because the real reason may not be as obvious as you think. We’ve been asking hazmat professionals that question for years, and the answers have evolved. Today, nearly a quarter of companies in the DG supply chain pursue compliance because it’s a

DG Digest: PHMSA’s proposed harmonization rule — HM-215O — released, comment period closes early in 2019

Hopefully everyone has had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday period—welcome back!  The last two busy weeks of regulatory activity are below, with the elephant in the room being the release this morning of PHMSA’s HM-215O International Harmonization NPRM, or proposed rule.  This rule, once implemented, would align US regulations with those found in the... Read more [...]

This Thanksgiving, DG also stands for “Deepest Gratitude.”

We know lots of Dangerous Goods professionals are on vacation this week, but the supply chain never takes a holiday. That’s why we’d like to take a few moments to share our thanks for everyone who helps keep our highways, skies, rails and oceans safe. Thank you to the truckers, pilots, train drivers and others

What happens when you make hazmat compliance a competitive advantage?

At September’s Dangerous Goods Symposium, Labelmaster VP of Marketing Rob Finn said, “Companies who are best in class at compliance have better on-time rates and fewer surprises for their customers. It’s a competitive advantage, and it grows their business.” Dangerous Goods compliance as a competitive advantage? That’s kind of a radical concept. Historically, many organizations... Read more [...]

DG Digest: PHMSA publishes HM-219A in hopes of clarifying some regulatory confusion

On Sunday the nation paused to thank its veterans; Labelmaster joins with all Americans to express gratitude to all whose service has meant so much to our country.  The week’s news is led by an important PHMSA release as the agency published HM-219A; see below for all the details as well as other regulatory news:

The ABCs of the modern supply chain: Automation, Blockchain and Compliance

Trucks drive themselves hundreds of miles on public highways. Warehouse workers’ glasses tell them which items to pick. Overseas transactions worth millions are consummated with the flick of a wand. This is not your father’s supply chain. Heck, it’s not even your older brother’s supply chain. If you find your head spinning at the pace

DG Digest: FedEx released own carrier variations, and FMCSA published an ICR on acquiring a CDL

As the nation heads into Election Day on November 6th, regulatory activity continues at a fairly brisk pace.  After such a quiet summer, it’s good to see things stay a little busier!  Here’s all the latest: PHMSA The agency published a correction to its recently released update to the air rules under HM-259.  The correction... Read more [...]

DOT introduces HazMatt to combat the “plain brown box”

Every year in the United States, there are approximately 1,500 reported transportation incidents caused by undeclared hazmat shipments. These rail fires, battery explosions and other incidents injure carrier employees and first responders while exposing them to dangerous chemicals and substances. Dangerous Goods regulations are useless if shippers don’t know what Dangerous Goods are. Ask any... Read more [...]