The following guest post is by Morgan Frey, Marketing Lead, Ereztech LLC
Logistics may not be top-of-mind when thinking about electrochemical and solid state manufacturing processes, but one failed shipment can throw an entire production schedule off target. Specialty chemicals, such as atomic layer deposition (ALD) precursors for the manufacture of thin films, are considered hazardous materials (hazmat) and therefore require special care and preparation for transportation.
Manufacturers’ involvement with the logistics of hazardous materials used in processes may be limited or non-existent. Many times these materials are sent as a one-way shipment. However, in the event that the goods, or their containers, have to be returned to their manufacturer, it is important to have a thorough understanding of hazmat shipping requirements and trained employees.
The cornerstone of safe hazardous material handling begins with properly trained employees. Training and certification can be obtained from the three main transportation organizations: the US Department of Transportation (DOT ground transportation), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). Depending on the materials and shipping method, obtaining training from one or all of these organizations may be needed.
Preparing a hazmat shipment involves a number of steps including selecting the correct packing materials. Material choices are endless, but ultimately, in the event of a leak, need to protect contents inside the container and package handlers. Do the research and work with the carrier to determine the most suitable materials to protect the shipment.
Perhaps the most important part of shipment preparation is the certification, documentation, and labeling of the package. These parts of the process give the carrier vital information about the package’s contents as well as emergency response guidelines in the event of an accident. Providing the correct paperwork and labels paves the way for a smooth journey for the shipment.
A few other factors, such as transportation method, carrier selection, and shipment destination should be considered before sending the hazmat package on its way. Uninformed handling of any of the aforementioned variables can result in delayed shipments, fines, environmental issues, and more.
This article is a summary of a hazardous materials shipping overview. Follow this link to view the full text.