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Everything You Need to Know About the Logistics of Bulk Chemical Transportation

Everything You Need to Know About the Logistics of Bulk Chemical Transportation
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When coping with bulk chemical transportation, there are several things to take into consideration. From using the proper tanks during transport, making sure truck drivers have the necessary training and permits, and having a detailed knowledge of HAZMAT rules so that chemicals are properly classified as hazardous before transport, the logistics of bulk chemical transportation involves many different aspects. To get a greater understanding of these logistics and ensure all bulk chemical transportation is done in a manner that is safe and meets all state and federal rules and regulations, here is everything you need to know about the process.
Transporting to the Buyer
The first step involved in bulk chemical transportation is figuring out what quantity and which kind of chemical will be transported to the buyer. As soon as this is done by the supplier, the tank to be used will be cleaned before having the chemical pumped into it at the supplier's facility. After this is completed, the tank is then linked to a truck for transport, and will be tracked by GPS to ensure it arrives in good time.
Determining Transportation Costs
For suppliers and buyers to make a profit on the transport of chemicals, it is very important that transportation costs be correctly calculated. To do this, various kinds of factors come into play, such as the distance involved in making the shipment, the size of the shipment, and how many days it will take for the shipment to arrive. When determining these costs, it is essential to remember that U.S. Department of Transportation rules require truck drivers to take pauses after driving for a particular number of hours. For that reason, these breaks should be factored into the total time for the trip.
Delivery to the Buyer
When the chemicals arrive at the buyer's destination, they are pumped out of the truck's tank. In many situations, the chemicals are pumped directly into storage tanks, which might be located above or below ground. Or perhaps they may be pumped into tanks that are stored in warehouses or other facilities, in which they will be used either for manufacturing or till they are resold or redistributed.
Using the Proper Tanks for Transportation
When transporting bulk chemicals, using the appropriate tank during transport will ensure everyone's safety. Normally, one of four types of tanks will be used, which can include a general-purpose tank trailer, rubber-lined tank trailer, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, and aluminum tank trailers. Starting in size from 5,000-8,500 gallons, each type of tank trailer is used for specific types of chemicals. For instance, a fiberglass-reinforced plastic tank trailer will hold 5,600 gallons, and is used primarily to haul acids or various types of bleaches.
DOT and HAZMAT Requirements
There are various DOT and HAZMAT rules and regulations that needs to be strictly followed to when doing bulk chemical transportation. For instance, shippers must tell drivers and support staff of the hazards and guidelines associated with the chemical being transported, and must also ensure the trucks, tanks, and trailers used in transport are in perfect condition. Along with this, all drivers transporting bulk chemicals should have a CDL and HAZMAT certification, and are required to inspect their equipment just prior to the trip as well as make periodic examinations while on the road.
Fines and Penalties
Since bulk chemical transportation is totally regulated, a few fines and consequences can be enacted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency if suppliers are in breach of certain rules and regulations. Since the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act consists of provisions for how hazardous chemicals are transported throughout the United States, violations regarding packaging, labeling, employee training, and operational procedures can lead to severe fines. Since these penalties are considered federal offenses, criminal penalties can be levied against violators, and vary from fines of $75,000 or more, jail, or prison sentences, or combining these penalties.
Variation of Transportation Permits
Since chemical transportation is very dangerous, most cannot be transported across state lines without proper documentation. In most cases, specific permits are needed from each state through which the chemicals are transported. Therefore, it is quite essential all documentation be completed in a proper manner ahead of transport. Otherwise, not only will the delivery of the chemicals be delayed, but it is also likely the transportation company and supplier will face extensive charges and other consequences.
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