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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for 2008

NMFC’s New Density Rules for Empty Drum Shipments

November 12th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News

In our October 2008 blog/Newsletter, we informed our readers that the rates charged for transporting empty (new) steel drums had increased due to reclassification by the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB) of the National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC). As of August 23rd, 2008, drums that were formerly shipped under class 92.5 would now be shipped under class 150 or higher resulting in a substantial cost increase per unit. Last week, at the annual conference of the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, Mr. Rick Rubin of Maxi Container, Inc. gave a thorough presentation on the pricing procedure, old and new, for the shipment of these empty containers. The presentation included freight class definitions, a review of the old rules (Section 52800) and a review of the new rules (Section 174610). The presentation also offers sample calculations for open head and closed head drums, with and without pallets. We believe that Rick’s presentation brings clarity to a rather complex specification and we invite you to see Rick’s presentation. You can link to it directly at: New Density Rules for Steel Drums. Note the recommendations at the end of the presentation. FAK rates (freight of all kinds) are available, in most cases, and should be negotiated as soon as possible.

Wine Drums Are Now Available With a Top-Fill Option

November 12th, 2008 by Jason Snow

Filed under: Wine

Skolnik has augmented its wide range of stainless steel wine drums with the launch of our new Top-Fill Wine Drum. Designed specifically for horizontal or vertical storage, these new drums have the traditional Tri-Clover flange centered in the top head of the drum. This new fill location allows wineries increased processing and storage flexibility in the wine making process.The Top-Fill Wine Drum is available for our most popular sizes, including the 16, 30 and 55 gallon stainless steel drums. If you are planning to attend the upcoming Wine Symposium in Sacramento in January 2009, we will be displaying the Top-Fill Wine Drum at our exhibit booth. Hope to see you in January!

DOT Introduces New Package Validation Testing Program

October 15th, 2008 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, Industry News

On September 25th, 2008, representatives from the DOT met for the second time with the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association, RIPA, and other packaging industry associations in order to address the issues relating to the LOGSA testing program at Tobyhanna. Present from PHMSA were Ted Willke, Associate Administrator, Rob Richard, Deputy Associate Administrator, Ryan Posten, Director of Hazardous Materials Enforcement, and several other upper level regulators from DOT. RIPA was represented by Paul Rankin, Calvin Lee, Howard Skolnik and CL Pettit. Other associations represented included The Plastic Drum Institute, The Plastic Shipping Container Institute and IPANA. The highlight of the meeting was Ryan Posten’s introductory presentation of the National Packaging Strategy Mission. Given the results of more than 10 years of in-field testing at the Tobyhanna laboratory, the new Packaging Strategy will change validation testing significantly. Rather than gathering random packagings in the field, DOT will go directly to packaging manufacturers for the selection of packagings to be tested, and manufacturers will have the option of performing the validation tests on their own premises, at a third party test lab, or at the LOGSA facility at Tobyhanna. The goal of the new strategy is to eliminate non-compliance of packagings, utilize uniform protocols and generate support for manufacturer’s quality programs. DOT will emphasize the selection of high risk packaging and all data gathered will be used to identify trends and prioritize risks. Posten announced that as of August 8th, 2008, the in-field DOT inspectors were informed of this new approach to packaging validation. Therefore, manufacturers and shippers can expect a DOT inspector to arrive at their facility, ask to see samples of packagings, test certifications and training documents. Ultimately, DOT can request that testing validation be performed in their presence. In the event of a successful test, the visit will be complete. If testing is not successful, DOT will work with the facility to identify potential reasons for failure and retest. It’s a step in the right direction for DOT and US packaging integrity.

Increased LTL Rates for Empty Steel Drums Is Now In Effect

October 15th, 2008 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Industry News

As of August 23rd, 2008, the rates charged for transporting empty (new) steel drums has increased due to reclassification by the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CCSB). Drums that were formerly shipped under class 92.5 may now be shipped under class 150 or higher. The reclassification study has been a work in progress for the last 5 years. Common carriers were complaining that their profits were being reduced by the introduction of lighter packagings. Indeed, steel drum metal thickness has seen reduced averages, as has plastic drums and IBC’s. Therefore, CCSB sought to re-level the classification rates based on these new packaging specifications. Currently, we believe that not all carriers have acted on this matter; however, several regional carriers have begun negotiations with their customers. Furthermore, existing FAK (Freight of All Kinds) rates may also be under negotiation. Apparently, the trucking industry is very competitive at this time and we advise our customers and shippers to actively negotiate these new rates as soon as possible.