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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Travel-friendly 30 Gallon Steel Drums

February 12th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a smaller size container is easier to move than a larger, but for a 30 gallon steel drum, it’s a victory worth noting. Sure, the 55 gallon drums might be ‘Mr. Popular,’ but due to their small stature, the 30 gallon drum is the jet setter of the pack.

That said, even 55 gallon drums log a few miles. And, regardless of their size, all containers are required to meet stringent standards and regulations in order to be safely transported. The primary regulating body for the Stateside transport of containers is, of course the Department of Transportation.  However, the DOT shares a lot of regulations with the UN, which is responsible for overseeing and certifying containers for international shipment, among other things.

At Skolnik, we take these regulations very seriously and perform a number of UN and DOT tests in house to ensure our containers meet or exceed the necessary standards. 

Every inch of our drums, whether they’re 30 gallons or much larger, are meticulously monitored and tested. The UN and DOT has regulations for each component of the containers: clamp bands, bolts, gaskets, lids, rolling hoops, thickness, chimes, seams, gauge and more. The standards may change depending on the capacity of the container and intended use, but there are always standards to achieve and rules to follow to ensure the safety and integrity of the container and its contents.

Afterall, our 30 gallon steel drums travel the world, so it is important they are built to perform, last and maintain compliance and safety wherever their journey takes them.

Packing and Shipping Regulations: The UN Rated Steel Drum

January 30th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Trust in and follow regulations to ensure your packages are properly contained. Using the wrong container to transport or store goods, especially dangerous goods, puts your facility, community and employees at risk. It also puts you at risk of a fine. 

There’s a number of regulatory bodies in the packaging and transportation industry. With countless manufacturers and transportation companies across the globe building and utilizing industrial containers everyday, it’s unsurprising that one of those governing bodies is the United Nations.

At Skolnik, we manufacture UN rated steel drum containers. That means these containers have been built, tested and certified to contain liquid or solid dangerous materials. Only packages that are certified to have passed the UN packaging standard tests may be used to transport dangerous goods.

The UN performance standards are internationally recognized and each is marked with a code that indicates the physical nature of the product for which they are suited (solid, liquid, dangerous goods group, etc). 

UN drums are tested against drop, stack, leak and pressure standards and there are three different dangerous goods packaging groups.

Skolnik not only rigorously tests our drums to ensure they meet UN specifications, but we also build our UN steel drums to surpass many of the requirements. Our drums are built stronger than is required.

We do our due diligence to ensure our packages are UN rated and certified, but it is the shipper who is responsible for selecting and filling packages appropriately. It is also the shipper’s responsibility to mark packages correctly. Shipping container packers should check that packages are properly marked and, if they are not, should not transport them. But the liability falls on the shipper.

Do you know what UN rating your materials need? Skolnik can help you understand the UN ratings and guide you to the packaging suited for your use. What’s more, Skolnik UN drums are built stronger and thicker than the industry standards require.

Rogue Lithium Battery Shipments Under Scrutiny

January 21st, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in partnership with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), are amplifying their efforts to ensure the safe air transport of lithium batteries. The organizations are also renewing calls for governments to crack down on manufacturers of counterfeit batteries and of mis-labeled and non-compliant shipments introduced into the supply chain, by issuing and enforcing criminal sanctions on those responsible. But, we are seeing an increase in the number of incidents in which rogue shippers are not complying. The industry is initiating a campaign to raise awareness of the need to comply. The campaign includes four specific initiatives:

  1. New incident reporting and alert system for airlines: Creating an industry information sharing platform that will allow real-time information about dangerous goods incidents to be reported.
  2. Industry awareness campaign on the dangers of shipping undeclared and misdeclared lithium batteries: A series of dangerous goods awareness seminars has been developed in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  3. Facilitation of a joined-up industry approach: The adoption of a cross-domain approach to include aviation security, manufacturing standards, customs and consumer protection agencies. Currently air cargo is scanned for items that pose a risk to security such as explosives, but not for items such as lithium batteries.

    Responsible shippers rely on government enforcement of standards to protect their investment in training and safe operating procedures. Air freight remains a vital link in international supply chains and it is essential that the rules for ensuring the safe movement of all cargoes are understood and acted on by all parties involved. Safety is aviation’s top priority.

  4. Passengers traveling with Lithium Batteries: Lithium batteries carried by passengers remain a safety focus for airlines. Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) guidance is available to travelers in eight languages detailing what items must be packed in carry-on baggage.

Salvage Drums: Choose the Strength of Steel

January 20th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Salvage drums are containers designed and certified to hold other damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers. Because the transportation of any leaking materials, but especially hazardous goods, can be dangerous, salvage drums are heavily regulated by the Department of Transportation. These regulations don’t dictate that the drums must be made of steel, in fact, certified salvage drums can be made of polyethylene, aluminum or other metals as well. But we at Skolnik recommend steel salvage drums over other materials – and not just because we make them that way. 

Steel is stronger. And because salvage drums are designed to carry and protect damaged or leaking containers, why wouldn’t you want the strongest container possible?

What’s more? Skolnik’s steel salvage drums are built to surpass the industry standards and UN performance requirements.

The UN dictates that, at minimum, a salvage drum must pass the standard requirements for shipping solids plus a 3 psi air leakproof test. Skolnik salvage drums are built thicker and stronger.

Our steel salvage drums are constructed of high quality carbon steel and are rigorously tested to ensure UN and DOT compliance. Our 85 gallon salvage drums are even T-rated, meaning they have passed the UN ‘T’ test allowing it to hold liquid or solid materials. This test and rating were created to give shippers the confidence that their damaged drum will be securely contained, even if it is holding liquid.

Federal law doesn’t require shippers to use steel salvage drums. However, when considering the safety of the environment and population, steel provides a peace of mind that other materials cannot. 

The fines for non-compliance are high, but the potential cost of safety or damage to the environment should be enough to deter a business from skimping on the safe containment and transport of dangerous goods.

Everyone’s Favorite 55 Gallon Drum

December 5th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

It’s the holiday season and your inboxes and web ads are probably chocked full of so-called ‘perfect’ gifts or ‘one-size-fits-all’ presents. Well, what if we told you there was a one-size-fits-all industrial container? Well, we’d be lying, but not fully. The 55 gallon drum may not be one-size-fits-all, but it is the overwhelming industry favorite. 

The 55 gallon drum, especially in stainless steel, is the most popular size and configuration container for a diverse range of uses. We call it the workhorse of the line up. It’s not too big, not too small, and is just right for packing, storing and shipping a variety of solids, liquids and, with the right treatment, even hazardous materials.

At Skolnik, we build all of our containers thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards. Our 55 gallon drum is available in stainless steel, carbon steel, seamless steel and in salvage drums and stainless steel wine barrels. The closures and fittings are all customizable for your needs.

While we love our 55 gallon drums and they are the overwhelming favorite, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right drum for your use. Contact us and our team of experts will help guide you to the right container size, material and configuration for your business. We love our near one-size-fits-all container, but we also relish the opportunity to engineer and manufacture a custom barrel for your unique needs.

BACK-OFF Prevention Addressed in Canada

November 26th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Associations, DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

For many years, during DOT audits, customers are often asked to provide technical information regarding the prevention of the closure plug Back-Off. By definition, Back-Off refers to the potential loosening of a steel or synthetic drum plug (usually the 2” and the ¾” on the top head) after the required torque is reached when closing a drum. Currently, CFR 49, 173.227(b)(2)(ii) does state that the screw closures must be “physically held in place by any means capable of preventing back-off or loosening of the closure by impact or vibration during transportation.” Transport Canada still refers to this requirement as “closures that are threaded.” However, in a move to have Transport Canada harmonize with the US CFR, COSTHA (The Council on the Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles) has submitted a proposed revision to Transport Canada. The proposal expands the criteria so that the “inner packagings shall have closures with gaskets and which shall either be threaded or physically held in place by any means capable of preventing back-off or loosening of the closure by impact or vibration during transport.”

For information about meeting the Back Off requirement, Skolnik offers solutions to securing closures plugs.