How Vermiculite Is Used for Commercial Shipping

Vermiculite, a versatile hydrous phyllosilicate mineral

You may have heard the term vermiculite, but were you aware of its numerous uses and benefits? This common mineral has been used for years, in many industries, including construction, industrial, horticulture, and agriculture. In the commercial shipping industry, vermiculite is used as a packing material due to its light weight and absorbent proprieties. It is very versatile and offers many benefits to those looking to ship liquid, hazardous materials, and odd-shaped items.

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How Many Gallons Are in a Tote?

The tote has grown in popularity over the years, and it is easy to see why. Durable, easy to handle, and with a large volume capacity, totes have become the go-to solution for storing and shipping a variety of items.

In the world of international shipping, a tote usually refers to an Intermediate Bulk Container or IBC for short. These cleverly designed containers are built for the transport and storage of bulk liquid and granulated substances, such as liquids, chemicals, food ingredients, solvents, pharmaceuticals, etc. The size and shape of IBCs provide companies with a cost-effective solution to store and transport items, as IBCs take up less space than other items, such as drums. Continue reading…

Should You Use Peanuts for Dangerous Materials?

When shipping dangerous materials by air or sea, it’s important to make sure the product is packaged properly. Improper packaging can cause leaking, which can pose a health concern. That’s why government agencies such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have guidelines in place to protect not only the people who handle the product but the actual product as well. It’s imperative that the product arrives at its intended destination in the same condition that it was in when it left. Continue reading…

Intent for Labels and Placards on a Storage Container

When shipping hazardous materials, it’s important to meet the government regulations. For example, you are required to use appropriate labels and placards on the shipping container. You may also see these visuals on storage containers in a warehouse or factory. But why are they used and what do they mean? Continue reading…

How Many Gallons Are in a Tote?

In the past, companies used drums to store materials such as liquids and powders. However, in recent years, there has been a switch toward totes. Totes – formally called intermediate bulk containers – are mounted on pallets and can be moved by using a forklift or pallet jack. Continue reading…

Shipping Dangerous Goods? Read This Now!

Shipping dangerous goods - read this now

Putting a simple letter in the mailbox is a fairly easy task. Shipping a dangerous chemical? Not so much.

Shipping hazardous materials can be a challenge because there are so many regulations involved. While the number of rules that must be followed may seem like overkill, these laws are in place for a reason: to keep people safe from potential dangers.

International air transport association infographic Continue reading…

Can Shipping Materials Prevent Leaks?

When shipping hazardous items, you not only have to worry about meeting all the strict shipping requirements, but you also need to be concerned about leaks. A leak inside a ship or plane – or even inside the package itself – is a safety concern. Flammable items can cause explosions that can lead to serious injuries or even death. Because of this, making sure that the materials stay inside their shipping container throughout the duration of the shipment is of utmost importance. Continue reading…

Can IATA Books Help with Compliance?

When shipping materials via air transport, it’s important that all regulations are met. The two agencies that regulate the shipment of hazardous materials are the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Continue reading…

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Notice Regarding the IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions


Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Notice Regarding the IMDG Code and ICAO Technical Instructions

The U.S Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) understands that many offeroers and carriers of of hazardous materials in international transport are currently adhering to requirements in the recently-adopted 2017-2018 International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICOA Technical Instructions) and Amendment 36-16 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code). Currently, the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; CFR Parts 171-180) only authorize offerors and carriers to use the 2015-2016 versions of the standards.

PHMSA hereby gives notice that while it decides whether or not to adopt the 2017-18 versions of these international standards, it will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is using the 2017-2018 versions of these standards when all or part of the transportation is by air with respect to the ICAO Technical Instructions, or all or part of the transportation is by vessel with respect to the IMDG Code. In addition, PHMSA will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who offers or accepts for domestic or international transportation by any mode packages marked or labeled in accordance with the 2017-18 versions. PHMSA will permit the use of either the 2015-2016 standards or the newer standards until this notice is rescinded or otherwise modified. THis enforcement discretion will be exercised by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Pipline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

This notice is limited to the use of the standards incorporated by reference in 49 C.F.R.  171.7(t) and (v). THis notice does not affect any other obligations that offerors or carriers may have under the HMR or any other applicable law.

Issued Febuary 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C.


Howard W. McMillan


Acting Deputy Administrator

Pipeline & Hazardous Materials

#1 Guide for Commercial Shipping of Lithium Batteries


Every day, there are millions of tons of materials being shipped from one part of the world to the other. There are some products out there that you definitely know require extra safety precautions, while there are other items in existence that you previously thought were harmless yet turn out to be harmful under the right conditions.

Shipping cargo to harborOne of such items is lithium batteries. You might not know this, but lithium batteries have always been a safety concern for those who have experience with the shipment and receiving of these batteries. They only recently got negative attention in the mainstream media last year due to the incident where Samsung Galaxy Note7 and hoverboards were recalled in large numbers due to the fact that they would spontaneously burst into flames. Continue reading…