How is hazmat shipping like your favorite sport (and how do you win)?

It’s a great time of year to be a sports fan. The NBA and NHL playoffs (WOW! What a first round…) are at full throttle, Major League Baseball is back and the NFL draft is right around the corner.

The athletes who play those sports are the best in the world at what they do. The coaches, managers and executives who run the teams are also the elite of the elite. But have you noticed one other thing they all have in common?

You never see any of them reading a rule book.

Professional athletes and coaches never have to stop and look at the rules because they’ve internalized those rules and learned to use them to their maximum advantage. To them, the rules aren’t a bothersome distraction—they’re the foundation of all the skills and strategies it takes to be great at their sport.

Guess what? That’s how top supply chain operations view Dangerous Goods compliance, too.

Better compliance gives you a competitive edge

The NBA rulebook is almost 100 pages long, with 13 chapters plus an appendix. Yet no NBA player ever wonders, “Now, how many seconds do I have to bring the ball past mid-court?” No coach ever says, “Wait, how many timeouts do we get in a half?”

No one competing at the highest level ever has to think about the rules—the rules are the standard for their industry. The team that performs the best under that standard wins.

The Dangerous Goods supply chain is no different. The regulations for shipping hazmat under PHMSA, IATA, IMO and other governing bodies are the same for every organization. But the organizations that perform best within those regulations will win the most business, while poorly performing organizations will win less business.

Here’s a simplified example: Since compliance gaps can lead to shipments being delayed, operations with superior compliance typically have a higher on-time delivery rate. If superior compliance helps your company achieve a 99% on-time delivery rate while a competitor achieves only a 95% rate, that competitor is shooting an airball once every 25 deliveries.

Who’s going to win more business?

But DG compliance is much harder than basketball rules!

If you read the previous section, you probably found yourself thinking, “How can they compare the NBA rule book to the rules governing hazmat transport? The 49 CFR alone is more than a thousand pages, and the IATA DGR is almost as mammoth!”

Absolutely true. Not only are the rules for shipping hazmat a hundred times more complicated than the rules of every sport combined, but their changes are far more frequent and significant, too.

Even so, the fact remains: Superior compliance makes you a stronger competitor. In fact, in our most recent Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook, 23% of hazmat pros said their companies viewed compliance as a competitive advantage.

So how do you make compliance a competitive advantage when no human being can possibly internalize the “rules of the game” like an NBA point guard?

DGIS makes hazmat shipping as easy as non-regulated shipping

Because no human can possibly know all the world’s Dangerous Goods shipping regulations, we developed DGIS—the industry’s most robust, flexible, advanced hazmat shipping software.

Of course, DGIS doesn’t just know the regulations. It validates shipment data instantly against an internal rules engine updated whenever a significant regulation changes, producing fully compliant documentation in just seconds per shipment. Shipping hazmat with DGIS is as easy as shipping non-regulated materials.

DGIS improves your compliance to reduce fines and delays—and saves you money by making your entire operation more efficient. And by helping you achieve superior compliance, it can even help you expand your business, enhance your brand and grow your revenues.

Or, in sports terms, you’re still playing by the same rules as everyone else—you’re just doing it better than your competitors. And that’s what winning is all about.


Labelmaster is a full-service provider of goods and services for hazardous materials and Dangerous Goods professionals, shippers, transport operators and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at pt(Su(n),t


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