Multiple Labels for Dangerous Cargo Leads to Confusion

multiple-labels-dangerous-cargo_transolutions’s Keith Wallis wrote an article about dangerous cargo and all of the ways that it can be labeled--which can end in dangerous confusion.  Here is a quick synopsis of what he had to say about this conundrum.

When an ocean carrier is transporting a dangerous cargo load, the items need to be declared as such. However, there are a “myriad of different cargo classifications and codes” that are causing confusion among those involved with the products.  This confusion is dangerous, because differing labels may prompt different product care.

For example, the article mentions that there are “14 alternative descriptions of calcium hypochlorite used in shipping documents”. Some of the other products that pose some problems for shippers if not handled with care are “charcoal...cotton, wool, fishmeal, seedcake, wood and timber, metal, and other wastes.”  These products may pose a concern because shippers do not find them dangerous in theory. However, they are still a cause for concern and should be shipped appropriately.

With a cargo ship fire occurring roughly every 60 days or so, it is clear that there may be an issue with mislabeled products.  In order for the utmost safety of all involved, cargo products need to be declared properly. There has been some movement toward finding a solution to this issue. Ultimately, the safety of those working with hazardous products is most important.  

To read more about what has been done in order to resolve this issue, read the full article at: