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February 2009 Newsletter

Have you checked your training records lately?
Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK and on the web

  • Dangerous Goods by Ocean – Recurrent Training – February 18, 2009 (Wednesday)
  • Dangerous Goods by Ocean – Initial Training – February 24-25-26 (Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday)
  • Dangerous Goods by Air – Recurrent Training – March 3 (Tuesday)
  • Dangerous Goods by Air – Initial Training – April 21-22-23 (Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday)
  • On Line Domestic Hazmat Training Program for the Cosmetics Industry - available 24/7 –A/V Program.

Our complete 2009 training schedule is posted on this website.

Check your current training records - if you are close to the expiration date make your reservations now for any of our classes throughout the year. We always remind attendees a few days prior to the class.

Lithium Batteries

Judging by the number of phone call, e-mails, and fax messages lithium batteries are causing major headaches for shippers and forwarders alike. IATA issued an advance notice about the changes that would be incorporated into its ambitious 50th Edition in early October, followed by a guidance document clarifying the differences in the types of batteries on December 23rd. That should have been helpful to everyone involved in transporting lithium batteries. On January 22nd IATA issued a total re-write on the packing instructions for lithium batteries to make it easier to digest the instructions and now on February 6th they have updated the guidance document.

We have never before seen so many changes and corrections to regulations in a little over one month and we’ve been in business for 33 years.

While the above two paragraphs might look like we are complaining, no, we are not. Sure, it means extra work for those of us that do packing, consulting and training. But we still applaud IATA’s efforts to make sure they have it right and they have tried to get the information out to the public as quickly as possible and in understandable language.

You can click on this link for the revised guidance document from IATA:

We haven’t assessed the revision as yet, but in initial, recurrent, and in-house training programs that we conduct at least 3 to 4 hours of instruction seems about normal for just lithium batteries.

The six packing instructions dictate that employees must be instructed specifically about lithium batteries if the ship or transport them. Don’t use the obsolete “Not Restricted per Special Provision A-45”. A-45 no longer exists!


The Material Safety Data Sheet has become the standard in transportation and emergency response. If your company’s MSDS files are not current you can download the template at  http://www.msdssearch.com/

You can also search out current MSDS’s from a large number of manufacturers at that site..

Dangerous Goods Advisory Council

For over thirty years the DGAC has been a leader in promoting safety in transportation. The council has been an advocate for the chemical industry and transporters of dangerous goods/hazardous materials. Your company should seriously consider becoming a member of this outstanding organization.

The Economy

Somehow, major league baseball’s problems with steroids, VIP boxes and sky high ticket prices in a falling economy just don’t seem all that important right now.

We still find it hard to understand why our politicians are so eager to “reward” failure – the banks in particular that risked our savings accounts and the Wall Street Barons that depleted our retirement funds.

Our sympathies are channeled towards the thousands of employees who have lost their jobs and homes or are at their wit’s end to try to get their children through college – the American Dream.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could lay off the politicians or at least cut their staffs? Why do we need two legislative houses in states? We could almost cut our state tax bills in half if we only had one – either the state assembly or senate. Why do we need two?

Why should taxpayers be paying for cars, fuel and insurance for most politicians? How can they know how you suffer when they are immune to transporting themselves to work at their own expense?

And, oh yes, Congress got a raise this year. Did you?

A tip of the hat!

Congratulations and a big “Tip of the hat” to Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and his crew for their really cool efforts that brought Flight 1549 to an emergency Hudson River landing in New York City. All 155 people on board survived.

That’s two “plusses” for the airline industry and flight crews in particular – USAIR and Quantas.


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