We can’t overstate how important it is for everyone involved in the shipment or storage of materials to understand the requirements of the situation and materials. In our line of work, part of that is knowing the right drums are used when shipping materials in order to comply with safety standards. These safety standards are important for keeping people safe, but also for avoiding the penalties that come with using defective drums, or the wrong class of drum entirely.
In the past, there has been confusion among manufacturers, customers, and shippers about the difference between Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums. Due to a lack of clarity, and a industry wide game of telephone, Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums were thought of as the same exact products for a while. This, of course, leads to a whole array of problems. First of all, if you were to use an Overpack Drum to do the job of a Salvage Drum, your materials would not be secure. Second, that particular load would certainly not meet DOT or UN standards.
As you would guess, there is a marked difference between Salvage and Overpack. A difference that, while we are sure most everyone in this industry knows, bears repeating — which is why we revisit this topic regularly. Overpack drums are used to hold packages or materials that are still properly sealed and meet safety and shipping regulations on their own, and the drum is used to consolidate materials. Think of them as a second layer of protection, or a handy way to transport multi-pack items. Salvage drums are used to hold leaking, damaged or otherwise compromised and non-compliant packages.
Clarifying every detail of your materials or shipment is important to everyone involved. There are a laundry list of important regulations that protect us, and the environment, but without clarity and strong communication about standards and norms, it is incredibly difficult to follow them and maintain good, safe and compliant business practices.