The transportation of dangerous goods is highly regulated throughout the world. These can include explosives, fireworks, flammable liquids, toxic chemicals, flammable gases, firearms, ammunition, radioactive materials, and infectious biological substances. For obvious reasons, regulations on the transport of these items is strictly regulated by the governing bodies of the countries in which they move. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, there has been some changes to the way we transport these goods and we could see even more regulations added as the impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at the impact COVID-19 is having on the transportation of dangerous goods:
More Shipment Of COVID-19 Specimens- frequent COVID-19 shipments are currently needed for research and test purposes. Viral cultures are shipped as Category A UN2814 or as “infectious substance that may affect people”. Transportation services need to ensure safety and follow the guidelines on handling the infectious specimen. We still know very little about the novel COVID-19, so it is important to be extremely careful. For air transports, COVID-19 specimens are classified under UN3373 category that requires triple layer packaging that can withstand 1.2 metres of accidental drop. Transportation services need to constantly consult with local authorities to meet any requirements for faster passage of COVID-19 specimens.
Fewer Options On Shipments- the reduced shipment of regular commodities also affects the transportation of dangerous goods. Because shipping companies are taking losses on the transport of commodities, many have stopped providing services. This causes ships to get stalled in ports due to a lack of demand in shipments. Port operations can be disrupted depending on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the area. It is getting more difficult to transport dangerous goods, because there are fewer available shipping companies to rely on.
More Stringent Measures- stringent measures taken by various governments are disrupting the transportation of commodities and dangerous goods. To limit the outbreak, the traffic of shipment is restricted in various ports. Crew members are required to remain on the ship for 14 days before being allowed to come ashore. The strict quarantine measure is causing setbacks on various trade activities. Cargo backlogs can be a serious issue for the transportation of dangerous goods. And biological specimens must reach their destination as quickly as possible to avoid expiration.
Possible Long-Term Changes- it is not easy to make long-term forecasts about the transportation sectors. Changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be just for the short-term. The COVID-19 pandemic is a huge surprise for all of us and it could become a catalyst for technological advancements in various sectors, including the transportation industry. Robotic equipment, artificial intelligence software and other cutting-edge implementations could make safer, more reliable, and quicker handling of dangerous goods. This may pave the way for autonomous transportation that’s more efficient and cheaper.
Contact HCB Live
To learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on the transportation of dangerous goods, contact HCB Live and speak with a regulatory expert who can answer any questions you might have.
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