Dangerous goods transport survey reveals challenges

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Labelmaster, and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin, have announced the results of their seventh annual 2022 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook. The survey results underscored the need for greater process consistency, increased automation and more reliable data to facilitate the safe and secure transport of dangerous goods (DG).

“Global supply chain disruptions have put even more pressure on those professionals and companies responsible for shipping goods safely and compliantly. While there are many areas of improvement over the last year, the survey demonstrated widespread awareness of the need to improve DG processes, training, technology and infrastructure,” Robert Finn, vice president of Labelmaster, said.

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“The air transport industry handles over 1.25 million DG shipments per year. The growth of e-commerce and proliferation of lithium batteries in global supply chains are two indicators that the number of DG shipments will grow. To handle them safely, we must further improve compliance with global standards. Almost any item can be shipped safely, provided we have well-trained professionals following globally agreed standards and supported by the right technology and infrastructure,” Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of operations, safety and security, said.

Key findings include: a solid foundation for compliance and an awareness that critical improvements are needed, with confidence in key aspects of DG handling hovered around 50%.

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“The survey shows that it is critical for organisations to assess their DG operations and identify processes, infrastructure gaps and areas of opportunities. The good news is that making meaningful improvements does not have to be difficult or require significant investment,” Finn said.

“Companies do not have to reinvent the wheel. IATA has digital solutions to improve compliance. DG AutoCheck, for example, automates the complex and time-consuming manual task of checking that each shipper’s declaration is compliant and the package(s) are correctly, marked, labelled and packaged, which improves efficiency. This streamlines processes and enhances safety,” Careen added.