Freight forwarders (and those in the logistics business in general) are pretty gung-ho willing to charge into just about any situation under any circumstances. Well, most any situation, with a few notable exceptions. We’re remarkably cautious when it comes to TSA and known shipper statuses, licenses for the Departments of State or Commerce, temperature sensitive, high-value, time sensitive cargo and the like. But the one that is really hidden that can be extremely expensive is the improper handling of hazardous materials.
Our activities are governed by the Department of Transportation and they recently proposed a civil penalty to FedEx of $681,200 for the improper handling of several dozen air shipments during an inspection and records check in Los Angeles. They have thirty days from the letter’s date to respond and seek mitigation, but the point of the matter is that hazmat is costly for several reasons, not the least of which is the training for everyone associated with it, permits, record keeping and just the deliberate, methodical nature by which it needs to be received, tracked and handled through the supply chain. It’s one of those things that people cannot be lax in their handling because the consequences can be tragic.