“Shipping Dangerous Goods as a rookie is a lot like your first year of fatherhood,” said the old DG trainer. “There are a lot more details to worry about, and if you screw up, you’re gonna have a mess on your hands.”
With apologies to all the mothers out there—whose parental sacrifices and Dangerous Goods wisdom equal or surpass that of fathers—the old guy had a point.
If you’ve worked in other segments of the supply chain, shipping hazmat raises the difficulty and complexity by several levels. Likewise, becoming a parent can have you feeling like nothing will ever be easy or simple again. With Fathers’ Day coming up, we want to salute all the first-time dads out there, especially those who make their living in the Dangerous Goods supply chain. Here’s a fun look at the similarities.
How new fatherhood is like Dangerous Goods shipping (part 1)
Here’s a simple example of how life becomes exponentially more complicated when you become a father, and the parallel situation of shipping unregulated items versus shipping hazmat.
Going out for dinner—before fatherhood
- Get dressed.
- Go out.
Going out for dinner—new fatherhood
- Call the sitter.
- Call another sitter because the first one has a test the next day.
- Get dressed.
- Pick up the sitter.
- Make sure she has both your numbers in her phone.
- Write down both your numbers in case her phone dies and she has to use the neighbor’s.
- Show her where the milk is.
- Write down explicit instructions for heating up the milk.
- Demonstrate the baby’s favorite position for eating.
- Demonstrate the baby’s favorite position for burping.
- Show the sitter where the burp rags are.
- Show the sitter where the diaper supplies are.
- Show the sitter how to work the TV remote.
- Set out three extra outfits and the baby’s pajamas.
- Go out.
- Check your phone every four minutes.
- Call the sitter every 27 minutes.
- Skip dessert and take the fastest route home.
- Take the sitter home and pay her almost as much as you spent on dinner.
Returning a normal bike part—no Dangerous Goods involved
- Put the part in a box.
- Fill out the shipper forms.
- Give the box to the shipper.
Returning an e-bike battery—fully regulated Dangerous Goods
- Get certified with an online training course on lithium battery shipping.
- Refresh yourself on the procedure for shipping lithium batteries.
- Consult the Lithium Battery Advisor to make sure you got #2 correct.
- Make sure you have compliant packaging for shipping lithium batteries.
- Assemble the box according to the first eleven steps of the closure instructions
- Wait a sec—is the battery damaged? You’ll need special packaging.
- Get a Class 9 lithium battery label.
- Attach one of those funky Cargo Aircraft Only labels, if applicable to the consignment.
- Label and mark the package correctly.
- Fill out all 14 sections of the Dangerous Goods declaration.
- Check the shipper’s operator variations to make sure you’re meeting their requirements, too.
- Fill out the shipper forms online. (Handwritten forms? You’re joking, right?)
- Wish you had advanced Dangerous Goods software to validate all of the above.
- Put the battery in the box and seal it according to the last six steps of the closure instructions.
- Give the package to the shipper.
How new fatherhood is like Dangerous Goods shipping (part 2)
Fortunately, there’s one more way new fatherhood is like Dangerous Goods shipping—there’s plenty of helpful advice available.
New dads, if they’re lucky, have their own dads, their moms, their sisters and brothers and in-laws, and all those friends who said, “Just wait until you have one of your own.”
Dangerous Goods shippers have Labelmaster, the industry’s ultimate source of hazmat transport knowledge, experience and insight. Basic questions? Call the free Hazmat Hotline. More complicated challenges? Connect with an expert from Labelmaster Services.
Or, as the old trainer said, “No new father or Dangerous Goods pro should ever be afraid to ask for help. Unless it’s a really, really nasty diaper.”
Happy Fathers’ Day from everyone at Labelmaster!
Every dad knows to keep shipments safe and in full 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.