We’ve discussed it before, but it bears repeating. Dangerous Goods (DG) handling has become more difficult as shippers continue to shift to an omnichannel, multi-carrier shipping strategy.

Recently, Bob Liva, who handles Pierbridge’s alliances and partnerships, had the opportunity to speak at Labelmaster’s Dangerous Goods Symposium about the growing convergence of hazardous material and omnichannel shipping.

“Bob Liva has a clear and deep understanding of the dynamic challenges and opportunities that shippers face every single day,” said Mario Sagastume, Vice President of Customer Success at Labelmaster. “He walked our Symposium attendees through the maze of challenges presented by changing regulations, DIM pricing, and omnichannel shipping and provided solid and real solutions, leveraging currently available technology. Bob showed us that the challenges are real and, most importantly, that tested and accepted solutions are available.”

During the presentation, Liva highlighted several key insights on the differences in the way shipping used to work and today’s movement toward incorporating a strategy where retailers are shipping from an “endless aisle”—from anywhere to anywhere.

“With this model, goods can move from the manufacturer or distribution center directly to the customer, or even directly from the retail location to the customer,” Liva told those in attendance. “This means that there are more hands touching the shipment, and many are untrained hands so it’s harder to control processes and ensure adherence to rules and compliance because everything is decentralized and more diverse.”

While focusing on a topic many think applies primarily to retailers, the mix of professionals in the crowd suggested that omnichannel, multi-carrier shipping, particularly where DG compliance is concerned, extends as far as the endless aisle.

“I polled audience members to see what industries they were in and, as I expected, about 95 percent were manufacturers and maybe 5 percent were distributors,” said Liva. “But there were two people in the audience that were in the 3PL industry. That surprised me, but it shows that they know they need to help shippers navigate the new omnichannel shipping waters.”

Dangerous Goods Confidence Report released

Of course, we think Bob Liva’s presentation was the star of the show — hey, he is our guy — but there were plenty of other reasons people came out to the show. Perhaps leading the way was the first-day tradition of unveiling the Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook, which provides a look at the DG industry.

Among this year’s key findings, according to Labelmaster’s blog, was that companies operate at three levels of compliance, based on their attitudes and motivations:

  • Basically Compliant: companies where DG management is viewed simply as a regulatory mandate.
  • Safely Compliant: companies that have a strong commitment to the overall safety and feel that their compliance efforts go beyond regulatory requirements.
  • Competitively Compliant: companies that view DG compliance as a competitive advantage in which procedures, support, and investment are well-positioned for future needs.

As businesses adopt an omnichannel shipping approach, it becomes more important to prioritize DG compliance not only at the traditional distribution locations, but throughout the organization as picking, packing, and shipping functions are undertaken by employees not normally tasked with those duties.

Download our eBook to learn more about how retailers are delivering from the endless aisle via omnichannel shipping.