Chicago, IL — A new survey found that while many organizations who deal with dangerous goods have the necessary infrastructure, training and processes to ensure compliance across their supply chains, a large number do not.
The annual 2018 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook, sponsored by Labelmaster, International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin, was conducted to gain insight into how organizations around the globe approach DG shipping and handling, and the challenges they face. Findings were presented on September 5 at the 2018 Dangerous Goods Symposium in Rosemont, Illinois.
“Shipping dangerous goods is complex and high-risk, and those responsible for compliance have an increasingly critical job,” said Rob Finn, vice president of marketing and product management, Labelmaster.
Key findings from the survey include:
Keeping up with regulations and ensuring compliance is challenging: Regulatory compliance is critical to an organization’s ability to maintain a smooth supply chain. Yet with growing volumes and types of DG, increasingly complex supply chains, and more extensive regulations, many industry professionals find it challenging to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. In fact:
51 percent find it challenging to keep up with the latest regulations.
15 percent were not confident that they can ensure DG regulatory compliance across their entire organization, and 13 percent were unsure.
58 percent feel that even if they follow the regulations perfectly there is a chance their shipments will be stopped.
When asked to rank their greatest challenge to compliance: budget constraints (28 percent); company leadership not aware of risk (21 percent); insufficient or ineffective training (19 percent); lack of technology (17 percent); difficulty in keeping up with changing regulations (15 percent).
Compliance technology and training is often inadequate: Those responsible for DG face an uphill battle – not only in meeting evolving regulations, but also in overcoming inadequate infrastructure and training. Technology is critical to the supply chain, and significantly improves efficiency, speed, accuracy and more. And even with a number of technology resources available, 28 percent of DG professionals are still doing everything manually. Furthermore, 15 percent believe their company’s infrastructure ability to quickly adapt to regulatory and supply chain changes is “lagging behind the industry,” 65 percent said it is “current, but need updating” and 21 percent believe it is “advanced – ahead of the industry.”
The need for improvement extends to training as well. One-quarter of respondents feel their company’s training does not adequately prepare people within the organization to comply with DG shipping regulations. In many cases, the scope of employees being trained needs to be expanded. In fact, 67 percent of respondents believe DG training should be extended to other departments across their company.
Finn added, “The risk associated with shipping and handling dangerous goods is greater than ever and industry professionals responsible for managing it need the proper technology, training and regulatory access to ensure they are moving goods in a secure, safe, compliant and efficient manner. Unfortunately, obtaining the necessary budget and resources likely requires buy-in from executive leadership, which can be an uphill battle. So how do you get that buy-in? It starts with changing the conversation around DG management.”