Businesses today are in a constant struggle to grow revenues, control costs, and (for shippers of dangerous goods) reduce business risks. Thanks to advancing technology, managing your hazmat shipping processes is easier than ever, but it takes proactive planning and thought to apply the right technology to the right points in your enterprise, especially in high volume parcel environments.
The risks of regulatory non-compliance are a constant concern for organizations packaging dangerous goods. Managers strive to implement accurate, repeatable, and controlled processes to ensure personnel are following regulatory rules. But eCommerce has made compliance more complex due to omni-channel shipping origins (suppliers, stores, warehouses, etc.) as well as the explosion of new carrier delivery services (same-day, white glove, and group-sourced). It takes an enterprise-class system to centrally manage hazmat and multi-carrier compliance across the extended enterprise.
Unfortunately, most warehouse management systems (WMS), order management systems (OMS), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software aren’t built with either hazmat or multi-carrier parcel compliance as their main focus. This limits the ability of IT managers to satisfy consumer demand for more delivery options while controlling regulatory risks, especially as they are increasingly pre-occupied with securing the enterprise against data breaches. Managing these risks with systems deployed in the cloud is even more challenging.
So, with all that to juggle, what can shippers do to streamline their operations and control shipping spend while managing regulatory risks? The first step is to find multi-carrier parcel shipping software that offers managers enterprise administrative tools and visibility to control enterprise processes. These tools should include:
- Ability to control access and user permissions by users, user groups, and locations. This is essential to omni-channel shipping strategies. It is also critical to limit access to users who are trained and certified to execute hazmat shipping processes.
- Ability to provide role-specific apps that support hazmat rating, shipping, tracking, and returns capabilities for national, regional, and local parcel and LTL carriers.
- Ability for the platform to expose an API to augment existing WMS, OMS, and ERP systems with the same capabilities as parcel TMS apps.
- Ability to configure and enforce carrier service selection rules in order entry and shopping carts based on their ability to cost-effectively handle hazmat shipments.
- Ability to validate hazmat shipments against regulatory rules, using a service like Labelmaster’s DGIS technology.
- Ability to generate accurate label diagrams, print shipper’s declarations and other forms and reports that comply with DOT regulations.
- Ability to digitize and store hazmat shipping records and forms to meet DOT filing requirements.
- Ability to provide customer service and compliance officers with tracking visibility to shipment status and line item detail.
If you are a hazmat shipper, you know that there is a lot that can go wrong that could create critical issues for your business. Having a hazmat-intelligent parcel TMS solution in place will help everyone in your organization breathe a little easier. Pierbridge, teaming up with Labelmaster, provide the perfect parcel TMS solution that will allow hazmat shippers to ship with confidence.
Bob Malley is the Managing Director at Pierbridge, Inc.
For more than 25 years, Bob has helped thousands of businesses reduce transportation costs and streamline fulfillment with parcel TMS technology. As founder of Tracer Research, Inc., and later as Kewill CEO, Bob introduced Clippership, one of the first integrated multi-carrier shipping systems. As managing director of Pierbridge, Bob has built a global organization that continues to innovate Transtream, an enterprise-class parcel TMS platform. Pierbridge and its technology partners, Logistyx and Pitney Bowes, have achieved FedEx Compatible Platinum certification. Pierbridge has also earned UPS ConnectShip Platinum certification status. Now part of the WiseTech Global group, Pierbridge is rapidly expanding and driving deeper into global e-commerce fulfillment.