Be Prepared: Changing Shipping Regulations

AICC just returned from attending the winter meeting of the Chemical Packaging Committee of the Institute of Packaging Professionals. This committee is the one that monitors the global changes in hazardous material packaging and shipping regulations and acts as this Association’s major advocate with the US Department of Transportation. As new members of this committee, this was only AICC’s second time to engage with these experts. What keeps showing up on top of the agenda is the Global Harmonizing System. This is where the US will comply with the UN on the import and export packaging and labeling of hazardous materials.

So how does this impact a corrugated company? One is that the labeling and placards are changing and will need to comply with these global and now domestic requirements by December 31, 2016. The other is that a product that may not have been considered a hazardous material in the past may now be reclassified as a dangerous good. Add to this the changing requirements for food safety thru the Global Food Safety Initiative and all will be busy trying to stay ahead of customers’ needs. This latter issue may have a greater impact on folding carton and rigid box manufacturers.

The entire distribution environment and transportation modes have changed and are changing. So what’s happening with the aging stock of over the road truck drivers? These 55 plus year old men and women are not being replaced by younger drivers who are willing to accept $55-60,000 a year in earnings. This mode will probably seek higher freight rates to attack younger operators. Add to this that US ocean ports are not able to handle the newest and biggest ships. Then compound this with the evolving growth of the small parcel and e commerce shipping modes and a packing company going forward must be nimble to adjust. Maybe more reshoring will occur.

Another issue discussed by those who must handle explosive materials is the need for grounding in manufacturing processes that create static buildup to the extent that a spark can occur. While we do create negative charges in our industries, they are easily dissipated and are generally not an issue. However with OSHA moving in the direction of more dust containment regulations, grounding may move up the scale in importance.

Stay tuned.

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One Response to “Be Prepared: Changing Shipping Regulations”

  1. g.white@tfplabs.com Says:

    Very helpful.

    Gary
    Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

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