5 Fast Facts to Know About Transporting Chemicals in Bulk

Bulk transportation of materials is a day to day activity even as the world gears up for massive scales of industrialization. Transportation for bulk material is highly regulated, especially if the said material is considered hazardous. Chemicals for industrial and large-scale use are some of the materials considered for proper regulation given the risks they pose to the environment and other road users in the event of an accident. Countries have strict and almost uniform regulations which outline the safety precautions and conditions under which such chemicals ought to be transported in order to avert safety incidences. Bulk transportation of such materials is shrouded in some rarely unknown facts. Here are 5 of those facts.

1- Bulk transportation of chemicals is done in specialized containments.

The hazardous nature of chemicals, coupled with their indifferent characteristics as compared to the conventional materials for transport implies that they should be contained differently when being transported. Most of such chemicals are normally fluid while others are gaseous and solid in form. To enforce additional structural safety, the chemicals are normally put in specialized containment systems known as dry bulk tanker trailers. The dry bulk tankers are normally sealed off to ensure a complete alienating of the chemicals from the environment. They are also highly optimized for loading and offloading to minimize the prospects of accidents.

2- Transportation of bulk chemicals is highly regulated.

Authorities highly regulate the transportation of bulk chemicals around the globe. In the US, the US federal government, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has crafted and enforced the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) that controls the transportation of categorized chemicals. The regulations outline among other things the process of labeling and packaging of such chemicals.  It also stipulates details on how the chemicals would be transported, under what conditions and the fines that should be imposed in the event of failure to adhere to the said regulations. Part of the regulations demands that the transported chemicals be appropriately classified which define the relative risks they pose. Each category of classification also requires the right set of precautionary measures.

3- Special training for persons involved in the transportation of chemicals.

The drivers involved in the process of loading, transportation, and offloading of the chemicals should be well trained. Much of the said training is undertaken with a focus on enforcing safety when handling and transporting the goods. The training also focuses on ensuring that the workers are well aware of the measures they ought to take in the event of an accident in order to minimize effects and contaminations. Also, specialized persons are required to plan the routes to be used when transporting the goods, the necessary precautionary measures that ought to be enforced, as well as the right set of contingency plans. For instance, the bulk trailer should have its way cleared by front and rear escort cars to ensure that no motorists come close to the trailer.

4- Special permits are required to transport bulk chemicals.

In addition to the federal government regulations, the federal and state governments require all chemical transporting companies have special regulatory permits which define the companies’ operations and the chemicals they deal with. In addition to the regulations, the government also requires the companies to obtain a special permit for every route the company seeks to undertake when transporting the chemicals. The permits ensure that the authorities are well aware of the operations to have standby precautionary measures. It also ensures that the state and federal authorities can plan on the scheduled route that is to be taken.

5- Standard transport companies cannot handle hazardous chemical transportation.

Conventional shipping companies such as US Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS normally require extensive paperwork to transport hazardous chemicals. Hiring the companies to ship any amount of chemical considered hazardous can therefore mount an unprecedented challenge. The companies charge premium fees since they have to obtain special permits and paperwork to secure the state and federal permission to undertake the transportation. It is, therefore, cheaper to transport the chemicals with transport companies which specialize in the hazardous chemicals only. The government through he relevant authorities imposed regulatory requirements upon those companies such as the number of persons to be involved in a single trail of transport caravans, their competencies, and their personal protection equipment.

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