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

Archive for the ‘Skolnik Newsletter’ Category

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles!

March 30th, 2021 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Skolnik Newsletter

As a result of our February 2021 newsletter, we were learned that many of our “non-hazmat” readers did not know that the steel drum industry is regulated by the Pipeline for Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an arm of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). When most people think of the DOT, they naturally think of transportation; planes, trains, automobiles, ships and highways. But the DOT also regulates items classified as dangerous goods, or hazardous materials, that are packaged and transported on public right of way via those planes, trains, automobiles, ships and highways.

The United States Department of Transportation was created by act of President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1966. The purpose of the Department of Transportation was/ is to create, develop, and coordinate policies to provide an efficient and economical national transportation system. This system will incorporate respect for the environment, regards the needs of the people, and will employ and monitor national defense of the transportation system. This is the primary organization at the cabinet level to shape and administer policies that protect and enhance the safety, adequacy and efficiency of the United States transportation services and system.

The primary regulatory vehicle used to govern the safe transport of dangerous goods is Title 49 of the US Code of Federal Regulations. CFR Title 49 – Transportation, is one of fifty titles comprising the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Title 49 is the principal set of rules and regulations issued by the Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, and other federal agencies of the United States regarding transportation and transportation related security. Publication of Title 49 began in 1938, at which point it was entitled Transportation and Railroads.

Part 178 of Title 49 CFR prescribes the manufacturing and testing specifications for packaging and containers used for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. The requirements of this part apply to packagings manufactured to a DOT specification, or to a UN standard for packagings manufactured within the United States. A manufacturer of a packaging is subject to the requirements of this part and is responsible for compliance with these requirements. However, any person who performs a function prescribed in this part shall also perform that function in accordance with this part. Part 178 also requires that a packaging be marked with a DOT specification or UN standard marking. Marking of the packaging with the appropriate DOT or UN markings is the certification that all requirements of the DOT specification, or UN standard, including performance tests, are met and all functions performed by, the person or entity whose name or symbol appears as part of the marking conform to requirements specified in this part.

See the complete 49 CFR here.

HazChem Environmental and the Salvage Drum Rescue

March 23rd, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Salvage Drum, Skolnik Newsletter

With thanks to our long time customer, HazChem Environmental, we just learned about a dangerous goods spill incident in which our (Skolnik) 85 Gallon Salvage Drums came to the rescue to quickly and efficiently contain a potentially dangerous situation.

On January 22, 2021, one of the largest freight-transport companies in the world called HazChem Environmental at 4:57 a.m. with a major problem. “Resin had spilled on a trailer at one of their Chicagoland terminals,” explained Chris Johnson, Co-Owner of HazChem. Overexposure to resin may affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, headache or nausea. It can also have a negative impact on hearing, and can cause respiratory tract damage. The incident was that one damaged 55-gallon open-top-steel drum was causing the problem. There was a small puncture in the bottom of the drum, about the size of a nail-hole. “Once our crew arrived at this spill, they did exactly what they are trained to do,” said Alan Shapiro, Co-Owner of HazChem. “They did a thorough check of all the drums containing Resin to see if there was any leak. They inspected the drums by hand, then lifted both up with a forklift to see if there was leakage from both drums, and there was!” “With both drums leaking, Shapiro said, “we had a sufficient amount of 85-gallon Overpack Steel Drums to solve the problem.”

The HazChem crew at this particular spill put both leaking drums into Skolnik Overpacks, sealed them up and put them in the HazChem Emergency Truck. The onsite crew then finished cleaning the inside of the resin-filled trailer with oil dry, pads, shovels and scrappers. The crew then cleaned up the back of the trailer and the ground outside which had also been covered with the spilled resin.

A good end to a potentially dangerous outcome. Our thanks to HazChem!

Check out the fully story here:

Cheers! How a COVID toast revealed a trend.

March 16th, 2021 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Cheers! Two nights ago, my wife and I raised our glasses of champagne and celebrated receiving our second COVID vaccine shots. The bottle we opened was from Mousse Fils, located in the village of Cuisles, France. Four years ago, we had had the pleasure of touring the vineyard and enjoyed a tasting with the owner, Cedric Mousse. And since then, we have celebrated every New Years’ and special occasion with this champagne. During our travels, (back when we could), we picked up a supply of this champagne at wine stores in New York and San Francisco. Unfortunately, after our recent “COVID” New Years’ eve, we ran out. Days later, searching the internet, I located a source, and six days later we had our champagne! It was not my first online wine purchase, but it made me curious as to whether I was part of a growing trend?

Writing in Wine Business Monthly, Andrew Adams reports that: “Winery direct-to-consumer (DTC) shipments and off-premise sales saw double-digit gains at the start of 2021. DTC shipments grew 21% to nearly $165 million in January, while off-premise sales increased 23%. “All price tiers again north of $11 continued to grow at a rapid pace,” relates Danny Brager in his regular monthly report on the shipping channels, which are tracked through a collaboration of analytics companies.

Brager who is a former Nielsen Vice President and now runs his beverage alcohol consultancy said Napa and Oregon wines were “standout” leaders in growth as well as rosé and sparkling wine followed by Sauvignon Blanc. While sales growth had slowed during November and December it appears at-home celebrations in January helped push growth back to levels previously seen from June through October. Here at Skolnik Industries, you’ll say “cheers” to our stainless steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Biden’s Made-In-America Executive Order

February 23rd, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

On January 25th, 2021, this Order was issued by the US Department of Transportation:
The Department of Transportation is a strong supporter of Buy American and today, we applaud President Biden for taking bold action today to ensure our future is made in America — and by American workers. The crises we face have created an opportunity to build back our economy better than before, and President Biden’s executive order will empower us to be a central force in our country’s recovery. We look forward to implementing President Biden’s Made in America executive order that will ensure transportation-related capital purchases, equipment, and supplies are acquired when available. In addition, we will also ensure that the President’s strong support of the Jones Act is realized so that only U.S.-flag vessels carry cargo between U.S. ports. With these goals in mind, the Department stands ready to help President Biden create good-paying, union jobs, and strengthen the middle class.
As this applies to the purchase of packagings bought by the DOT and other Federal agencies, we believe this will help to fuel our recovering domestic packaging industry.


US Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as Head of DOT

February 16th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

The US Senate has confirmed Pete Buttigieg to lead the Department of Transportation (DOT) under the administration of President Joe Biden. Buttigieg, 39, is former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and also ran for president in 2020. He is the youngest person to be confirmed to head the DOT, and the first openly gay member of the Cabinet. Industry trade groups welcomed the confirmation. Buttigieg will be tasked to work on infrastructure issues as well as the development of new technologies like electric vehicles, and helping manage the country’s pandemic-related travel restrictions. The Federal Aviation Administration falls under the DOT. “As the Biden Administration looks to enact comprehensive infrastructure investment, we look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg to continue prioritizing the safety and health of passengers and employees as our industry and the nation looks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic – the most devastating crisis the airline industry has ever experienced,” said A4A chief executive Nicolas Calio. The Biden administration has made fighting the global pandemic a top priority and in its first two weeks introduced numerous stricter measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Working to Understand COVID-19’s Impact on Our Senses

February 9th, 2021 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

One of the telltale symptoms of coronavirus infection is a nightmare for wine lovers: loss of smell and taste; researchers are studying why it happens and if it can be cured. Shawn Zylberberg, writing in the Wine Spectator, reports that: “When Dr. Christian Squillante traveled to South Africa in February 2020, he enjoyed safari rides and explored the local wine regions. But halfway into the trip, the Minneapolis-based oncologist developed a fever and severe fatigue that lasted two days. He recovered quickly and didn’t give it much thought until two weeks later, when he opened a bottle of Chenin Blanc he had brought back from his trip and found it tasted like water.”
“I was having a friend over for one of our weekly wine nights and suddenly noticed that I couldn’t taste anything,” Squillante told Wine Spectator via email. “My loss of smell came on almost instantly.” Nearly a year later, Squillante says his senses of taste and smell still haven’t fully returned, and most flavors are “muted.” Zylberberg goes on the relate that: “Pro golfer Greg Normanhad a similar experience in December 2020, when he believes he contracted COVID-19 at a PGA Tour event in Orlando, Fla. Norman says he lost his sense of taste and smell about a week after the event. I was experiencing other symptoms first, like bad back pain, joint aches and fever, and I noticed the roof of my mouth was very ‘pasty,’” Norman told Wine Spectator via email. “My senses have returned, but only in the past few days.”
The article goes on to report that: “Dr. Felicia Chow is a neuroinfectious disease specialist at the University of California at San Francisco and has seen numerous patients suffering from lost sense of taste and smell. According to Chow, the nose contains multiple types of cells, including neurons that sense different odors and transmit signals to the brain, as well as supporting cells along the nasal epithelium. “It seems like the virus in the nose itself is not infecting the actual smell neurons or the nerve cells that help us to smell, but rather the supporting cells,” Chow told Wine Spectator. “Those supporting cells play an important role, and when those are infected it seems to impair our sense of smell.” Time, she believes, is the key to recovery. “What we find is that sometimes as cells figure things out, there are signals that direct them to the right place,” Chow said. “Over time it could correct itself.”
Here at Skolnik Industries, we know that you will please your senses with our stainless steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life.