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

Posts Tagged ‘dangerous goods transportation’

Undeclared Dangerous Goods Causing Ship Fires

May 31st, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Dangerous goods are never as dangerous as when they are in transit. The shipping of dangerous goods is risky, but when the packagers and shippers do their due diligence and ensure that the packages meet the stringent requirements and regulations set forth by the pertinent governing bodies. One major threat facing shippers of dangerous goods is the threat of fires.

Ship fires have been a leading cause of losses in the shipping industry thus far this year.

Since January, there have been at least a dozen fires reported on vessels, including a deadly fire and series of explosions on a tanker off of Hong Kong. According to Allianz’s Safety and Shipping Review in 2018, fires caused a loss of 112 ships between 2008 and 2017. Without further action, that number will only continue to rise.

Mis-declared or undeclared flammable chemicals are believed to be a recurring cause for a lot of these fires and explosions. Andrew Kinsey at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has been eager to find a solution. According to Kinsey, the key is moving forward with a proactive mindset rather than being reactive as they have been. “We can’t continue to sift through the burnt wreckage and say, ‘That’s what was here.’” says Kinsey. “We have to start to identify it before it even comes through the gate at the terminal much less being stowed on the vessel.”

Kinsey and others are excited at the prospect of using technology to make the changes necessary to prevent ship fires and improve communication between carriers. The idea is that with stronger, more consistent IT standards and better communication between customers and shipping lines, they can prevent mis-declared or undeclared cargo, especially dangerous cargo.

In September, Maersk announced “risk-based dangerous goods stowage principles” to help prevent future issues. But many don’t believe additional regulations are the answer, the real answer is following the rules that are already in place. We strive to stay on top of all industry regulations and restrictions at Skolnik, so we’re inclined to agree. There’s no way to know if the rules currently in place are effective if they aren’t being followed effectively.

The Basics of UN Drums

July 13th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN

Proper packaging is crucial, especially for dangerous goods. Using the wrong container to transport or store your goods can have a disastrous impact on your facility, community, employees and the environment. With countless manufacturers and transportation companies across the globe building and utilizing industrial containers everyday, there needed to be a level of regulation and oversight in the packaging and transportation industry. One of those levels of regulation comes from the United Nations.

For a drum to be UN approved and rated it needs to be 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.

A few basics on UN drums and the regulations that surround them:

UN drums are tested against drop, stack, leak and pressure standards. UN performance standards are an internationally recognized system of ratings for solids and liquids.

All UN certified drums are marked with a code that indicates the physical nature of the product for which they are suited. This code always starts with the letters “UN” in a circle. This marking is permanent.

There are three dangerous goods packing groups. The first (packing group I) refers to UN Drums and barrels such as those manufactured by Skolnik. This packing group is built to the highest standard.

It is the shipper’s legal duty to select and fill packages correctly. It is also the shipper’s duty to ensure that packages are marked accordingly. Shipping container packers should check that packages are properly marked and, if they are not, should not transport them. But the responsibility of proper selection 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.

2018 New Hazmat Rules At-A-Glance

February 22nd, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

They say the only thing constant is change and that couldn’t ring more true for those of us in the dangerous goods business. As the transportation, manufacturing, chemical and hazmat industries all keep evolving, so too do the regulations that govern them. At Skolnik, we do our due diligence to ensure all of our products meet, if not exceed, the hefty regulatory standards they face. Part of that due diligence is staying on top of changes to the rules and regulations.

In 2018, a few new rules regarding hazmat containers and shipment will hit the books — here’s a quick look at what those regulations, some of which have already taken effect.

Already in effect:

International Air Transport Associations Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR), 59th Edition – In effect as of 01/01/2018

Changes include:

  • Stricter requirements regarding air-shipment of lithium batteries

  • A re-organized list of Class 9 materials (see Subsection 3.9.1)

  • A new list forecasting changes for air shippers in 2019 (Appenix I).

Furthermore, IATA has already published an addendum to this year’s DGR that impacts air shippers and airline passengers alike, so look for that as well.

2016 International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) — Updates in effect as of 01/01/2018

Reinforces updates that were made in the 2016 edition. Compliance to these updates was voluntary last year, as of this year they are officially mandatory.

Rules include:

  • New dangerous goods marking and labeling criteria

  • New packing instructions for certain shipments of engines, lithium batteries and aerosols

  • Adjustments to the IMDG Code Dangerous Goods list

Coming soon:

Enhanced Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries by Air (RIN 2137-AF20)  — Expected 02/2018

This Interim Final Rule will harmonize the 49 CFR hazmat regulations with evolving international standards for the air shipment of lithium batteries. International requirements already in effect under the latest IATA DGR will be adopted into 49 CFR.

Rules include:

  • Prohibiting lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft

  • Limiting state-of-charge to 30%

  • Limiting the use of alternate provisions for small cells or batteries by air

Response to Industry Petitions (RIN 2137-AF09) — Expected 02/2018

Currently, parties must petition US DOT to amend, remove or add hazmat regulations to enhance safety/efficiency for shippers and carriers. In 2018, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) plans to address 19 of these petitions. This response will likely include new amendments and rules.

 

Miscellaneous Amendments Pertaining to DOT Specification Cylinders (RIN 2137-AE80) — Expected 04/2018

Likewise, DOT will address various petitions from industry stakeholders. These petitions pertain to the manufacture, maintenance and use of DOT specification cylinders. This ruling will incorporate two existing hazmat special permits into the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR)

 

EPA’s Electronic Hazardous Waste Manifest System — Roll-out to begin 06/2018

The Hazardous Waste Manifest is a shipping paper required for the transport of hazardous waste, and hazardous waste is regulated in transport by US DOT. While this rulemaking has implications across various industries, here are the consequences specific to hazmat shippers:

The new e-Manifest system will be rolled out on/by June 30th. The EPA plans to utilize the e-Manifest to collect domestic hazardous waste manifests and domestic shipments of State-only regulated hazardous wastes. The e-Manifest system will be funded via user fees for the treatment, storage, and disposal facilities and State-only waste receiving facilities.

Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (RIN 2137-AF08) — Expected 07/2018

A Final Rule from DOT to expand the applicability of oil spill response plans for trains transporting Class 3 flammable liquids in specific volumes and orientations across the train. This requirement will apply to High-Hazard Flammable Trains (HHFTs).

These are just the new hazmat rules that are already on the horizon. As always, Skolnik will continue to monitor future regulations or updates that may impact operations, shippers, brokers and carriers, and we encourage all other dangerous goods professionals to do the same.

Doing your due diligence now can prevent a disaster (or hefty fine) later.

Why Use Steel Drums for Dangerous Goods?

October 20th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

Steel drums are one of the most popular containers for a variety of materials — including hazardous materials and dangerous goods. Several factors have contributed to steel drums’ rise to popularity in the shipping and storage of dangerous goods, but the steel drum experts at Skolnik have found that you don’t need to dig that deep to discover the main reasons steel drums are used for dangerous goods.

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  1. Steel is strong. Sure, there are plastic and paper containers, but metal is stronger. Airplanes, aircraft carriers, and trains are made of metal, not plastic or paper. Strength is important when handling and transporting classified dangerous goods — therefore, more businesses choose steel drums over fiber or plastic drums, and more UN and DOT regulations require or recommend steel containers for dangerous goods.
  2. Steel is rigorously tested. Steel drums meet the highest levels of test performance of all non-bulk packaging. Skolnik steel drums are rigorously tested to meet stringent UN and DOT certifications, but also just to meet our own high-performance standards. We design and manufacture steel drums that get the job done and then some, and we test them accordingly. Plastic and fiber drums are not tested with the same intensity and precision as steel drums.
  3. Skolnik steel drums are special. We offer a range of packaging options, we specialize in steel drums and our engineers can customize drums for our customers’ unique needs. We are a company whose pulse is to find solutions to particular packaging, shipping or transport problems. We offer a diverse range of customization options including diameters, height, metal thickness, packaging, protective coatings, closures, placement of plugs and more. And, Skolnik steel drums are manufactured thicker, heavier and stronger than the industry standard requires.

We specialize in industrial packaging for critical contents and we recommend steel as the material-of-choice for packaging, storing and transporting dangerous goods and hazardous materials.