Even when you pay careful attention to every detail. Every “I” is dotted and every” t” is crossed, sometimes your dangerous goods shipment gets held up or “frustrated” as the carriers like to say.
What happens then? Stress, that’s what. First a call, usually late at night, sometimes even past a normal bedtime. Lucky you, get to wake up to this news. Not only does your day start badly, but likely continues while you speak to representative, after representative to figure out what the issue is. What’s worse? Your customer being told that it is “the hazmat guys fault”. I am sure you can relate! In this particular care, the story gets worse, because the dangerous goods are contained in dry ice.
The shipment contains dangerous goods, which have been marked and labeled, then placed into an overpack with the dry ice, then securely placed onto a pallet. As with any overpack, if you cannot see the inside contents, you must re-mark and re-label it. For simplicity, all of the marks and labels were placed on a piece of paper, then place in a sheet protector and attached to the package.
So, what’s the issue you ask? Well, the person inspecting the package thinks the labels are photocopies and not genuine pressure sensitive labels. Did they take the time to feel the paper within the sheet protector, of course not! Instead, they insisted that the shipment be re-marked and re-labeled directly onto the box. Where is the sense in that? IATA 18.104.22.168 states that all marks must be durable and printed or otherwise affixed to the external surface of the package or overpack. As you can see from the photo, this shipment met that requirement. IATA goes on to state that the marks must be readily visible and legible, and be able to withstand open weather exposure. Wouldn’t you think a sheet protector would help meet that requirement.
Almost two days wasted of both the shipper’s time as well as the carrier, and additional expense occurred for the re-marking and re-labeling.
Everyone understands the need to be cautious when shipping dangerous goods, but this type of logistics nightmare did not have to happen. Train your people to understand what the requirements really are, it I will certainly save someone the added stress and headache.