The recent explosion at a warehouse in Tianjin, China that killed more than 100 people seriously disrupted port activity and caused all shippers to redouble their efforts to provide safety lessons and key insights into the terrible accident. Here are a few important lessons to come from this tragedy.
Safety is paramount. While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, it is believed that the explosions occurred when a shipment full of explosives detonated. Packing your containers and labeling them in an appropriate way is critical to the success of every shipment. Don’t skip on the labeling process because you don’t want to identify the contents. You may be putting people at risk without realizing it.
You don’t have to be packing explosives to create a problem. A car, for example, offers plenty of hazardous materials while it is being shipped. Its air bags, air conditioning equipment and batteries create an acidic or gas environment that could become explosive. The same is true for drilling and mining equipment. Even office supplies can be potentially hazardous if they contain aerosols or electrical storage batteries. What doesn’t seem hazardous to us in our everyday lives may have a different role to consider when shipped.
To gives some context for how terrible the blast was, a logistics company storing some several thousand cars was incinerated by the fireball produced by the blast. The blast also shattered windows and doors and rocked whole buildings in a residential area nearby.
All in all, over 800 people were either injured or killed in the blast. It is worth being careful. You can help by making sure you follow all safety directions and label and declare your goods properly. If the logistics company gives you a recommendation, please follow it. It is in everyone’s best interests.