October 12, 2017
Dangerous goods—handle with care!
By: Pierre A. David

After five years of experience in international freight forwarding, you have recently been hired as the international logistics manager of a US-based manufacturer of fuel additives for race cars. Your mission is to improve your company’s compliance with dangerous-goods regulations, as the company was recently fined for having incorrectly packaged a rush shipment. Your predecessor is no longer with the company.

The company has done extremely well over the past few years. Its products are technically superior to its competitors’ products, and it dominates the domestic market. Its reputation has traveled to foreign markets, and your company has just received a number of inquiries to supply international race events.

Now that the company will ship overseas in larger quantities, by both air and ocean, it faces regulatory hurdles beyond those of the US Department of Transportation (DOT)—shipments will have to comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) dangerous-goods regulations.

There are a number of questions you need to address:

  • What changes in packaging, documentation, and labeling will need to be made?
  • What training requirements will need to be fulfilled by the shipping department?
  • How will these policy changes affect your company’s risk and exposure?
  • What impact will these policy changes have on your sales?

As the international logistics manager, you know it is your responsibility to find answers to these issues so that your company can ensure it is compliant with all regulations and avoid fines. Most important, you have to make sure your goods arrive in good condition at each of the race tracks to which your company will sell. That’s the only way your customers will reorder.

Where do you start? The Accenture Academy courses Classifying and Identifying Dangerous Goods; Packaging Decisions for Dangerous Goods; Marking, Labeling, and Placarding Dangerous Goods; and Documentation and Training Requirements for Transporting Dangerous Goods will equip you to identify the changes that can be made to your shipping practices so that your products can gain market share abroad. Some changes can be implemented relatively quickly while others are more long term, but all will allow your company to build a competitive advantage by following solid dangerous-goods shipping practices.

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