1-800-441-8780

1-773-735-0700

Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

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

Archive for April, 2018

The Worst Containership Disasters in Recent History… In Photos

April 24th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

Buyer’s of imported goods, and seller’s of exported goods, rarely understand the perils of shipping these goods overseas. The massive cargo ships appear to be indestructible, unsinkable, but in fact, they are not. Each year, more than 100 million containers are shipped across the globe on containerships that can now stretch the length of three soccer fields or more. Despite the large number of containers shipped, accidents are relatively rare, with the best estimates saying that less than 1,500 containers are lost from ships each year on average. However, these losses are catastrophic and a recap of some of these disasters has been created in photographs. In this posting, you can look back at some of the worst container shipping disasters in modern history. Keep in mind this list is not a comprehensive list of container shipping accidents, rather a recap of some of the more infamous disasters to hit the container shipping sector since 2000.
View the photos here.

90-Day Waiver for ELD for Transporters of Agricultural Commodities

April 17th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on March 19, 2018, additional steps to address the unique needs of the country’s agriculture industries and provided further guidance to assist in the effective implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule without impeding commerce or safety. The Agency is announced an additional 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD rule for agriculture related transportation. Additionally, during this time period, FMCSA will publish final guidance on both the agricultural 150 air-mile hours-of-service exemption and personal conveyance. FMCSA will continue its outreach to provide assistance to the agricultural industry and community regarding the ELD rule.
Since December 2017, roadside compliance with the hours-of-service record-keeping requirements, including the ELD rule, has been steadily increasing, with roadside compliance reaching a high of 96% in the most recent available data. There are over 330 separate self-certified devices listed on the registration list.
Beginning April 1, 2018 full enforcement of the ELD rule begins. Carriers subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that do not have an ELD when required will be placed out-of-service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) criteria. At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action. Read the complete FMCSA action here.

The Plastic Pollution Problem and the Stainless Steel Solution

April 16th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Stainless Steel

Why is plastic such popular headline material this year? Well, because plastic pollution has finally reached a boiling point. Even with an increased awareness and consciousness of recycling, research warns that the amount of discarded plastic in just the ocean will triple in the next decade. If this warning becomes reality, in ten years there will be more plastic in our oceans than there are fish.

Sounds bleak, right? Well, the good news is that just as we’re all responsible for this issue, we can also all chip in to help. Every small change to our plastic-using habits helps, and we’ve already taken a huge first step by being more aware of the problem.

Stainless steel is considered the most reliable and safest material for industrial grade containers. Stainless steel drums, like the ones we manufacture at Skolnik, have long been a favorite for the storage and transportation of chemicals, consumables, hazardous materials and more. In recent years, plastic drums and containers entered the scene and boasted their superior lightweight and flexibility. However, there is a reason stainless steel drums are still considered the gold standard. Not only can they promise levels of durability and sanitation that porous plastic cannot, but they are also vastly more eco-friendly.

And, with plastic pollution clogging our oceans and newsfeeds, more businesses and individuals are actively trying to cut down on their plastic waste, and they are turning to stainless steel to help. In fact, the global stainless steel market is currently being driven by an increased demand for consumer goods. Consumers are picking up reusable stainless steel straws to cut back on plastic straw use, businesses are implementing stainless steel water refill stations for their employees or patrons, and more.

We hope that stainless steel products such as our stainless steel drums continue to help people cut down on plastic waste and reverse the disastrous predictions of environmental experts.

 

Solutions to Smoke Taint

April 10th, 2018 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

A recent article in the Sonoma-Index Tribune detailed the search for solutions to smoke taint after the recent Northern California wild fires. The international pursuit of ways to predict how much smoke from a wildfire will end up in finished wine and what to do about it got a boost when the dark clouds of particles pumped out by the massive North Bay fires in October descended on an experimental vineyard in Napa Valley. Australian researchers had done extensive studies of a number of years on the interplay between smoke in the air and unpleasant “ashtray” smells and flavors in the bottle, and such work continues Down Under. Knowledge has increased about the number of culprit compounds to test for — now seven, up from two — but how tests on grapes and on wine over time will predict “smoke taint” and how that relates to winery fixes remains to be solved. As the Business Journal reported in November as samples of possibly tainted wine were flooding into commercial wine labs, a big challenge in such testing is the chemical markers associated with the off odors and flavors travel come in two forms: nonvolatile precursors and volatile compounds consumers can detect. The nonvolatiles bond to sugars in the grape juice and get released gradually during fermentation into the volatile, or free, form. Commercial labs have precision in detecting levels of the nonvolatile and volatile chemicals, but the meaning of those levels in predicting taint isn’t well-known. And insurance companies have been using varying levels in determining claims for crop insurance. Check out our full line of stainless steel wine barrel.