Transporting industrial chemicals is a difficult task. Many obstacles can make this process more challenging, but it won't be as stressful if the right knowledge and safety precautions are in place. Here, we discuss several common obstacles of transporting industrial chemicals and provide steps to overcome them.
Ensuring compliance with regulations
Before transporting any type of chemical, you must first understand how important it is to stay in compliance with regulations. This includes understanding which chemicals are being transported, if there will be a need for laboratory testing or other analysis on the way to their destination, and how much information should accompany them during transit.
Additionally, it's recommended that companies have an emergency response plan in place to help protect themselves and those who live nearby from any kind of potential emergency. An emergency response plan will require training for employees, a risk assessment, and an appropriate spill containment system that's designed and approved by relevant authorities.
Before you begin transporting chemicals, it's important to understand which regulations are required for your specific situation.
Transporting over long distances
If you’re transporting chemicals over a long distance, the first major obstacle you're likely to encounter is figuring out how much space your cargo should occupy. Generally speaking, vessels are classified as one of four types: containerships and barges for transporting bulk or liquid goods; RORO ships for carrying wheeled vehicles such as cars and trucks; passenger ships for transporting people; vehicle carriers for carrying wheeled vehicles such as cars and trucks.
The type of vessel you select will determine size requirements, safety features, travel time, cost, and more. In general, RORO ships are recommended when transporting over long distances with a limited number of goods. Containerships are used to transport cargo that's either bulk or liquid in nature, but not both. Vehicle carriers may be used if the freight mainly consists of wheeled vehicles such as cars or trucks.
Transporting industrial chemicals over long distances also requires a good understanding of the regulations surrounding the specific cargo and any borders that you may have to cross. Requirements can vary between countries, so it's important to check with local authorities and international shipping companies when applicable before completing logistical arrangements.
Regulations can even vary for the same type of cargo when traveling within a single country. For instance, an International Maritime Organization regulation states that any container with dangerous goods must be marked as such, have two warning signs affixed to it and follow all other requirements under its Dangerous Goods Regulations.
Finding suitable transport vehicles
One of the most difficult aspects of transporting a shipment to its destination is finding an appropriate vehicle. Before arranging for transport it’s necessary to think carefully about your specific cargo needs, as certain materials may be too heavy or bulky for common vehicles such as buses and trucks.
If you have difficulty locating a way to move hazardous materials, you may consider working with a freight broker. Freight brokers will be in charge of finding the safest and most efficient way for your shipment to reach its destination.
Dealing with hazardous materials
Another obstacle in dealing with the transport of hazardous industrial chemicals is ensuring that they reach their destination without leakage. If there are any signs of leaks while your shipment is travelling over long distances, the transport vehicle needs to be pulled from service immediately to prevent chemicals from endangering nearby populations. Areas in close proximity are at risk of contaminated water supplies and soil if dangerous substances spill over into storm drains. The prevention of hazardous material spills and accidents involving transportation vehicles is crucial to the safety of not only those involved in the process, but also to those living and working nearby.
Many different obstacles may occur for various reasons throughout the process of transporting industrial chemicals and hazardous substances from one place to another. Finding solutions to these common challenges will save time, reduce costs in the long run and improve safety standards when working with dangerous goods such as these.