How to grow your hazmat shipping operation during a labor shortage

There’s a new crisis adding to the list of challenges frustrating supply chain organizations during the worst public health crisis in generations—a labor shortage.

In the U.S., manufacturers are desperate to fill hundreds of thousands of jobs, and finding the right talent to fill those jobs is 36% harder than it was in 2018. For supply chain organizations, these worker shortages hurt two ways—delays from your shorthanded supply chain partners, and the difficulty of finding the workers you need yourself.

If your business is growing but you can’t find the additional workers you need, how can you handle the additional work? Advanced Dangerous Goods technology can be a huge part of the answer.

Small delays become a big problem

Shipping hazmat compliantly can be seriously time-consuming. Any given shipment forces your teams to answer a number of difficult questions:

  • Classification: What kind of Dangerous Goods are we shipping? What’s the exact makeup of the shipment?
  • Regulations: Which rules apply to the shipment? Have they been updated recently?
  • Mode: How does shipping by air, highway, rail or vessel impact those regulations?
  • Documentation: What documents must accompany the shipment?
  • Packaging: What packagings are necessary to keep this shipment compliant and safe?
  • Labeling: What labels and marks must be on the package, and where do they go?
  • Placarding: Does this shipment require placards, and what kind?

Okay, so hopefully you’re not answering all these questions from scratch every time. But even one change or new item can require your teams to stop what they’re doing to look something up or consult with each other. If you ship multiple items every day, these small delays can add up to a large amount of time spent on Dangerous Goods compliance.

You’re already shorthanded. Do your teams have time for that?

Handle more hazmat shipments in less time

When good workers are hard to find, you need the ones you have to use their time as productively as possible—especially if your business is growing.

Advanced Dangerous Goods software like Labelmaster’s DGIS helps your teams handle more hazmat shipments in less time. Instead of hiring more workers, you can grow your business by making your current team members far more efficient.

Take the list above. When you introduce a new hazmat item to ship, it might take even a well-informed  worker 45 minutes or more to verify all that information. Plus, they then have to document it, so when the shift changes the new folks don’t have to start over from square one.

With DGIS, you can get all the answers you need in a minute or less, simply by filling in a few fields in its user-friendly interface. And the correct information is available for everyone, throughout your organization, instantly.

Every hazmat shipment, every day

DGIS doesn’t just save time when you’re introducing new items. It saves time on every hazmat shipment, every day.

For instance … how long does it take you or your team to prepare a Dangerous Goods shipping declaration? In tests we ran a couple of years ago, employees who knew all the applicable regulations were able to complete a declaration—using no software at all—in just under two-and-a-half minutes. Not bad.

The same employees, using basic software that didn’t validate information against current regulations, cut that time almost in half: one minute, twenty seconds. Impressive.

Then, using DGIS, they produced the same documentation in thirteen seconds.

Let’s expand those numbers a little. If you handle 50 hazmat shipments a day, the difference between 1:20 and 13 seconds per shipment saves your team one full hour. 400 shipments a week? Using DGIS saves enough time to free up an employee for nearly a full, eight-hour day.

That’s how DGIS makes your employees more productive. That’s how DGIS lets you grow without adding more workers.

DGIS may not solve the labor shortage. But it can make it a slightly smaller crisis for the Dangerous Goods supply chain.

Don’t miss the Dangerous Goods event of the year—sign up now for the 2021 Dangerous Goods Symposium!

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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