Inside Logistics

Compliance is top of mind for dangerous goods

Data storage, software are areas with gaps in DG management

September 5, 2019

CHICAGO – Dangerous goods (DG) logistics pros face compliance challenges.

A recent survey found that 45 percent of companies have problems with centrally collecting, storing and communicating key hazmat data, and 55 percent have problems getting high-quality, accurate data from upstream supply chain partners.

The survey findings were presented on September 4, 2019 at the 2019 Dangerous Goods Symposium in Chicago, Illinois. It found that DG pros around the globe continue to find compliance challenging and time-consuming and desire additional support from their companies in order to better ensure compliance, support future operational needs and gain greater business value from the supply chain.

Overall, budget constraints, lack of adequate technology, lack of senior-level executive risk awareness and resource constraints all contribute to this feeling. While 66 percent of DG pros feel confident that the investment their company makes to support DG compliance can meet current needs, 21 percent indicated it does not meet current needs. Only 13 percent believe their current investment can support future needs.

And while, 71 percent of DG pros believe their supply chain adds positive economic impact to their business, 56 percent do not believe that (or are unsure if) their supply chains are a differentiator for their companies.

“The growth of ecommerce and the evolution of supply chain has made moving dangerous goods in a safe and compliant manner more important than ever,” said Robert Finn, vice-president, Labelmaster.

“Unfortunately, several key gaps exist within organizations’ processes and infrastructure that make maintaining a compliant and reliable hazmat supply chain challenging.”

The lack of confidence many DG pros have in their organization’s supply chains is, in part, the result of specific gaps within their operations and infrastructure. These gaps include: their ability to handle growing reverse logistics needs, access to complete and reliable master data, technology with adequate DG functionality, and compliance of their partners and carriers.

Sixty seven percent of respondents feel their company’s reverse logistics processes for DG are adequate to meet current needs, while 13 percent indicate they are not adequate to meet current needs. Only 20 percent feel they can support future requirements.

Fifty-five percent of DG pros still rely on manual processes for shipping DG.

Only 29 percent said their ERP system possesses all of the DG supply chain functionality needed, while 41 percent said their WMS possesses all of the necessary DG functionality.

Seventy one percent of respondents wish their supply chain partners were as compliant as their company. Forty two percent of respondents agree that the carelessness with which carriers handle/transport DG is a significant problem for their business.

“Companies view DG management and compliance differently, which directly impacts their level of investment and, ultimately, their ability to ensure compliance across their entire organization and adapt to changing operational needs,” Finn added.

“As a result, many organizations lack the resources needed to meet their current supply chain needs, and few have the budget and infrastructure necessary to support future requirements.”

The 2019 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook was sponsored by Labelmaster, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin.