Greater process consistency, increased automation and more reliable data to facilitate the safe and secure transport of dangerous goods, are the conclusion of the seventh annual 2022 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook recently released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Labelmaster.
“The air transport industry handles over 1.25 million DG shipments per year,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president Operations, Safety and Security, in a statement. “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.”
Key Findings and Recommendations
There is a solid foundation for compliance.
- Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (24%) said DG compliance is a competitive advantage
- Another 37% said their organizations go beyond what is required by regulation, while 39% only adhere to minimum requirements
There is awareness that critical improvements are needed.
- Only 25% believe their organization’s current infrastructure is equipped to meet future needs
- 82% believe their organization’s DG investment cannot support future regulations or supply chain changes
Confidence in key aspects of DG handling hovered around 50%, pointing to areas for improvement.
- 64% reported confidence in the ability to handle reverse logistics
- 56% said they received fast/quality responses from regulatory authorities
- 55% were confident in the reliability of master data
- 55% believed that technology was being leveraged sufficiently to support safe shipments
- 53% said that the DG rules were easy to apply
- 52% have the requisite budget
- 48% believed there was sufficient C-suite support
- 48% noted sufficient regulatory enforcement of DG rules
- 48% were confident in their organization’s DG compliance
Most respondents (67%) indicated that their organization was prepared to handle DGs at most or all of their locations. Top priorities were identified as:
- Automating processes (61%)
- Harmonizing processes across supply chain (59%)
- Accessing complete and accurate data (52%)
- Obtaining special permits, letters of interpretation, etc. (48%)
- Ensuring training is effective and up to date (45%)
Four key recommendations come from the survey:
- Technology: Automate DG operations and establish reliable processes across the supply chain.
- Training: Utilize gamification or 3D training experiences to better train and recertify employees.
- Packaging: Utilize new packaging solutions to further improve efficiency, safety and compliance.
- Regulations: Use digital regulatory materials to keep DG professionals up-to-date.
“Companies do not have to reinvent the wheel. IATA has digital solutions to improve compliance," says Careen. 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, labeled and packaged, which improves efficiency. This streamlines processes and enhances safety.”