2021 DG Symposium recap, part 3: Final thoughts and a secret message

The 2021 Dangerous Goods Symposium delivered everything a supply chain professional could want. 18 virtual sessions over two weeks addressed every significant Dangerous Goods regulatory update—domestic and international, via land, sea and air—along with deeper dives on training, e-commerce, anti-terrorism measures, C-suite priorities and, naturally, lithium battery transport.

(Want to go back and watch a key session, or the whole Symposium? If you’re a DG Exchange member, you can go back and stream them on demand, at no charge. Just visit the events page and click the “past” button.)

Here’s a final recap of an amazing event, along with a secret message about next year’s event.

Lithium batteries were the main topic of two sessions—Live with the Lithium Battery Panel and Are My Lithium Batteries Safe to Transport?—and came up for discussion in several others. With the demand for rechargeable battery-powered devices seemingly inexhaustible, we’ll see regulations governing their transport continue to evolve for years to come.

Industry trends in the supply chain impact every facet of hazmat transport, and no one explains the connections better than Eric Starks, Chairman and CEO of FTR. His Understanding the Future of Freight Transportation session broke down the data to explain some of the last year’s unprecedented trends and prepare shippers for what’s to come.

Vessel transport was in the spotlight for two sessions from veteran DG consultant and trainer Richard Masters. He reviewed essential updates in regulations for shipping hazmat by ocean, and discussed the Suez Canal saga and other maritime mishaps in A Snapshot of Container Shipping 2021.

E-commerce continues to transform the supply chain, with the pandemic adding Class 3 Flammable Liquid to what was already a raging fire. While e-commerce was in the background for several Symposium sessions, Dangerous Goods consultant Cathy Roberson also shared the entertaining Dangerous Goods and the eCommerce Effect.

International Dangerous Goods regulations came under the microscope, with updates on China (see below), South America and Europe, as well as the latest updates under consideration for the UN Model Regulations and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Nobody should have any trouble finding the secret message if they’re paying attention to the bolded words in this section!

China plays a larger and larger rolein global supply chains, both as an exporter of pretty much everything and a destination for goods from all over the world. For anyone transporting Dangerous Goods into, out of or within China, this session from Terry Guo—China Representative at the Institute of Hazardous Material Management—was indispensable.

Hazmat and terrorism are connected, unfortunately, but the U.S government has top agencies keeping us as safe as possible. Symposium attendees heard from FBI Chemist Dr. Chuck Luman and Mitch Paine and Sam Dukac of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Inspections are an inescapable part of life for any organization shipping Dangerous Goods, but you’ll be better prepared for the next one if you watch What to Expect Before, During, and After a PHMSA Inspection with PHMSA Hazardous Materials Investigator Katelin Maits.

C-Suite executives aren’t just short-sighted if they neglect Dangerous Goods infrastructure and support. According to the panel of leaders in What the C-Suite Needs To Know About DG Supply Chain Management, they’re also missing an opportunity to make superior compliance a competitive advantage.

Air transport will probably always be the most challenging mode for transporting Dangerous Goods, so in addition to the session on the latest IATA regulations, we also heard an update on new measures from the FAA to make air transport safer and air transport regulations more transparent.

Generation Z is here, and someday soon those slacker kids are going to be running our shipping departments. How can we get them (along with everyone else) trained to compliantly handle hazmat in this weird, hybrid world of virtual and classroom training? That was one of several questions our all-star panel of training experts addressed in Let’s Talk Training! A Roundtable Discussion.

Omnichannel fulfillment pleases consumers with next-day delivery, but it can be a major headache for hazmat shippers and 3PLs. In Optimized and Compliant: Let’s Review Your Shipping SOPs, Pierbridge’s Bob Liva and Labelmaster’s Kristen Dapore described the solutions and processes that make the complexity more manageable.

2022 promises to be another year of surprises and challenges in the Dangerous Goods galaxy. What will be the hottest topics at next year’s DG Symposium? Well, there’s one thing we know (almost) for sure …

Did you discover the secret message?

Combine the first letter of the previous 14 paragraphs—or just watch this video!

Mark your calendar for the 2022 Dangerous Goods Symposium, Sept. 7-9, in person and back in Chicago!

Make sure your shipments are safe and in complete compliance with a full line of solutions from Labelmaster—a full-service provider of goods and services for hazardous materials and Dangerous Goods professionals, shippers, transport operators and EH&S providers.

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