Hazmat Hits Amazon

| By: Arya

Untrained Shipping Services

Dangerous goods shipping is best left to the professionals. However, that doesn’t stop some people from trying to. 2018 saw a sharp increase in the amount of unqualified, untrained third-party sellers shipping items containing hazardous materials. Of course, the way to get around this is to get proper training and information. People just need to get the right know-how in order to continue their business. To put this in perspective, in 2009 Amazon only had two incidents of shipments violating the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. Nine years later, in 2018, that number has increased to 42. These incidents each bring an element of danger to the lives of the people receiving these products. This is all because some people aren’t motivated enough to receive the proper training and knowledge. What can be done?

Planning the Counter Offensive

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Amazon has begun to fight back. After years of incidents increasing very slowly, these incidents have been to show signs of exponential growth. Furthermore, as the number of third-party affiliates grows, the number of incidents will also grow. Amazon has begun to introduce a growing list of penalty fees for packages that fail to comply with their safety regulations. Even then, that doesn’t necessarily matter in the face of the problem.

The main problem is that the people shipping these dangerous goods incorrectly don’t even understand exactly what they’re shipping. Again, this leads to the problem of people needing the proper training for the service they’re trying to provide. But, how can these people get training when they don’t even understand that they need it to begin with.

The one thing that will make people understand what they’re doing is wrong is a loss of money. That’s where Amazon’s new additional fees come into play. Amazon is introducing these fees as “unplanned services.” If shippers do not want to receive these charges they need to meet a list of requirements.

The Counter-Offensive

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Each requirement is specifically included to combat the unknown inclusion of hazardous goods. All packages must meet safety standards in six specific areas: shipping box overweight, shipping box oversized, electrical products hazard, sharp products hazard, spilled products hazard, and unacceptable pallet condition. Furthermore, it is easy to see why each area needs to be included when long-distance shipping comes to mind. But, Amazon isn’t just going to be handing out fees left and right. Shippers will be notified of the fees before they get charged a month in advance. Hazardous materials are never “just” another item ready to be shipped. Aerosol cans can cause more damage than many people can imagine. Hopefully, these changes to the Amazon shipping policy can combat these issues. A blow to their paycheck will hopefully convince these people to either get the right training or follow the right safety regulations. Only time will tell.

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