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How One Company Overcame its Hazmat Challenges
While working with a large, national customer several years ago, Landstar discovered several issues with the hazmat descriptions listed on the customer’s shipping documentation.
“Because those bills were computer-generated,” says Landstar Transportation Logistics Director of Hazardous Materials Compliance Wes Pace, “we knew that the issues would continue both for us and for other carriers transporting the firm’s hazmat shipments.”
When the customer was alerted about the problem, it questioned Landstar. After all, the company had been “doing it this way for years with no issues,” what could be wrong with that established process? “We explained that federal regulations required that specific information be listed with each hazmat entry on the bill,” Pace recalls, “and that by accepting and moving the load, we’d also be at risk for violations, fines, and potential out-of-service orders during roadside DOT inspections.”
The problem continued, namely because the customer was reluctant to make the necessary corrections. “Landstar capacity providers made the necessary corrections on each shipment, to ensure compliance,” says Pace.
And while this process worked, the root cause was not fixed. That was until Pace met with the appropriate customer representative who agreed to review 50+ shipping documents that had been itemized by violation and regulation reference number. Agreeing that there was a problem that needed mitigating, the customer upgraded its computer system while at the same time informing all of its facility managers of the need to comply with hazmat regulations.
“I’ll never forget coming in early one morning and finding all of that customers’ hazmat shipping descriptions correct and shipping documentation compliant,” Pace recalls. “We continue to service this customer, which now understands and appreciates what we’re trying to accomplish, which is to protect both them and us from roadside violations. Together we were able to find a solution,” Pace added.