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Why Vendor Compliance Is Important for All Incoming Shipping Materials

From meeting customer expectations to ensuring that they are abiding by all applicable laws and regulations, companies of all types and sizes jump through a lot of hoops to meet their goals. For many, working with vendors is one of the biggest challenges. Business owners rely on numerous vendors to provide the raw materials, supplies, etc. that they need to successfully run their companies.

Effectively managing your vendors is vital, and vendor compliance is a major component of that. Establishing requirements for the vendors you work with helps create order and makes it easier to resolve any problems that may arise. Your business likely works with numerous vendors and requires many types of supplies to operate efficiently. While vendor compliance is always important, it is especially important for incoming shipping materials. Why is vendor compliance important for shipping materials? Here are just a few reasons.

What Is a Vendor Compliance Policy?

Before we explain why vendor compliance matters, it is important to understand what exactly a vendor compliance policy is. In short, it is a document that establishes your business’s expectations, requirements and penalties regarding service standards, backorders, product condition, delivery dates, product quality and other important factors. The exact terms of a vendor compliance document may vary greatly from one company to another. In general, though, the document should spell out your company’s expectations and requirements and what penalties a vendor will face if those expectations and requirements are not met.

An effective compliance policy includes a chargeback schedule that penalizes vendors who do not follow the established procedures. These penalties should be based either on a flat cost per infraction or the hourly cost of manpower you will incur as the result of a vendor failing to uphold their end of the bargain. Your compliance policy should not be treated as a means for your company to bring in money. Instead, it should encourage vendors to comply rather than face fees.

Why Vendor Compliance Matters for Shipping Materials

Whether your business ships out a few packages daily or thousands, having the shipping materials you need on hand is vital. You need to know that your supplier will deliver them to you when they promise. And you need to be confident that the materials they deliver will meet your requirements for quality and that your order will be accurate. A well-written vendor compliance policy helps ensure that you will have the shipping materials you need when you need them. That’s not the only reason why vendor compliance is important for incoming shipping materials, though.

Establishes Consistent Goals

In today’s business world, consistency is important. Business owners need to have plans in place to ensure stability in all of their operations. These plans help maximize efficiency by making sure that necessary supplies are delivered when they are needed. A well-planned program helps standardize internal procedures and avoid unexpected–and potentially costly–delays.

Compliance with Shipping Regulations

If your company is shipping hazardous materials or other items with specific shipping regulations, your vendor compliance policy must stipulate that the shipping materials the company delivers meet all applicable regulations. Using the wrong shipping materials could cost your company thousands of dollars in penalties, so you need to be assured that your vendor will be held responsible if they fail to deliver the correct products.

Cost Control

When your shipping material vendor fails to deliver as promised, it can cost your company a substantial amount of money. Without supplies, you may find yourself unable to fulfill customer orders. This can damage your reputation and make customers feel like they cannot depend on you for timely order fulfillment. You may also have to waste valuable time searching for the supplies you need on short notice. If you are able to find the supplies you need, you may have to spend more to obtain them.

Smoother Retail Supply Chain

Improving vendor compliance helps reduce variability in the supply chain. It establishes more stable sending and receiving protocols and is mutually beneficial for both vendors and the businesses that rely on them. For retailers, vendor compliance ensures they will have what they need when they need it or the vendor will be responsible for paying a penalty. For vendors, detailed compliance policies help eliminate last-minute orders or changes. This can eliminate days from the supply chain and help everyone get what they need faster.

Vendor compliance is an important part of any business that relies on supplies from other companies. Shipping supplies are vital for many companies and having a compliance policy in place helps ensure that vendors will deliver as required.

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Class 3 Flammable Liquid Class: All You Need to Know

When transporting hazardous materials, how do shippers correctly label their cargo? There are numerous classifications for a wide range of materials that are classified as hazardous or dangerous for a number of reasons, including explosiveness, causticness, and flammability. The class 3 flammable liquids class contains liquids with flash points of no more than 60.5 degrees Celsius or 141 degrees Fahrenheit. It also contains molten materials in their liquid phase with flash points that are no greater than 37.8 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Because there are numerous products and materials that fit into this class, understanding how to properly label and transport them is extremely important. Here are a few things you need to know about the class 3 flammable liquid class.

There Are Exceptions to the General Rules

While the guidelines above lay out the general requirements for a substance to be considered a class 3 flammable liquid, there are a few exceptions. Any liquid that meets one of the definitions outlined in 49CFR 173.115 and any mixtures containing at least one component that makes up at least 99% of the total volume of the mixture and has a flash point of 60.5 degrees Celsius (141 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher are also categorized as class 3 flammable liquids.

According to ISO 2592, any liquid with a flash point greater than 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) that has a fire point greater than 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) falls into the category as well. Liquids with flash points greater than 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) that are in water-miscible solutions and are at least 90% water also fall into this category.

Common Examples of Class 3 Flammable Liquids

Many of the products that we use on a regular basis are classified as class 3 flammable liquids. Gasoline and items that contain gasoline or gasoline fumes are some of the most common examples. Other common types of class 3 flammable liquids include rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, paint and paint-related materials, acetone and cigarette lighters containing butane.

Transporting Class 3 Flammable Liquids

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has strict guidelines for shippers involved in the transport of hazardous materials. Class 3 flammable liquids are one of the most commonly transported dangerous goods worldwide, so it is essential for shippers to understand how to do so safely and in accordance with the law.

Only approved portable tanks and containers may be used to store and transport class 3 flammable liquids. Portable tanks must include provisions for emergency vents that can be used to decrease internal pressure under fire exposure conditions. They must also have at least one pressure-activated vent.

Small containers holding less than 8 gallons of flammable liquid and with a weight less than 440 pounds can be transported by anyone who has undergone general hazmat training. The shipment must include MSDS sheets and must be appropriately labeled as “Gasoline” or “Flammable Liquid.”

When transporting larger quantities of flammable liquids, the requirements of the Department of Transportation are much stricter. While the only documentation required for certain small shipments are MSDS sheets, larger shipments must include an emergency response guide and hazmat bill of lading. Drivers who transport more than 119 gallons or more than 1,001 pounds of class 3 dangerous goods must also have a commercial driver’s license, or CDL. Extensive driver training is also highly recommended for those who carry large amounts.

Shippers who transport containers that hold less than 8 gallons and weigh more than 440 pounds but less than 1,001 pounds and containers that hold between 8 and 119 gallons and weigh less than 1,001 pounds must complete emergency response guide training as well as HM-126F training.

Lastly, all shipments of class 3 flammable liquids must be labeled appropriately. Class 3 flammable liquid labels should be affixed to all small containers to let anyone handling them know that the materials contained within are dangerous. Dangerous Good placards are required by 49 CFR 172.500 as well as the International Maritime Organization. Such placards must be affixed to highway, rail and ocean containers. They are generally made from fade- and water-resistant vinyl to ensure longevity and to prevent them from falling off during transit.


Many of the products we use in our everyday lives are classified as class 3 flammable liquids. As such, these materials are frequently transported by sea, rail and roadway. Understanding these liquids and the requirements for shipping them will help your company better comply with DOT regulations and ensure the safety of your staff as well as the general public.

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4 Types of Hazardous Waste and How to Properly Dispose of Each

When it comes to properly managing and disposing of hazardous waste, understanding the exact types of waste your business creates is vital. Due to strict regulations, hazardous waste cannot be simply thrown out with the rest of your trash. Instead, it must be disposed of in a manner that complies with strict government policies.

Further complicating matters is the fact that not all hazardous waste is treated the same. There are a number of specific types, and each must be disposed of accordingly. According to the EPA, there are four distinct types: listed, characteristic, universal, and mixed. Let’s take a closer look at each of these types and the proper procedures for disposal.

Listed Wastes

Listed waste is broken down into four lists: F-list, K-list, P-List, and U-list. The F-list includes non-specific source wastes from common industrial and manufacturing processes, such as solvents used in degreasing and cleaning operations. They are categorized as wastes from non-specific sources because they can be generated in various sectors of industry.

The K-list includes specific wastes from certain industries, such as pesticide manufacturing or petroleum manufacturing. These treatment and production processes generate certain types of wastewater and sludge that are classified as source-specific hazardous wastes.

The P-list and the U-list both include discarded commercial chemical products in an unused form. Certain pharmaceutical products and pesticides, for example, are classified as hazardous waste when discarded.

Characteristic Waste

Characteristic wastes do not fit into any of the categories listed above but are still classified as hazardous waste because they exhibit one of four characteristics: Ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity.

Ignitable wastes are those that can create fires, have a flash point of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit or are spontaneously combustible. Corrosive wastes are bases or acids that are capable of melting metal containers, such as drums, storage tanks and barrels. Reactive wastes, such as lithium-sulfur batteries, are unstable under normal conditions, and toxic wastes are fatal or harmful when absorbed or swallowed.

Proper hazardous material labeling requires that wastes with any of these characteristics be identified with the correct hazardous material placards or labels.

Universal Wastes

Universal wastes include pesticides, batteries, mercury-containing equipment, and bulbs. The EPA streamlines the management of these commonly-generated types of waste to ensure proper treatment or recycling and keep them out of landfills.

Mixed Wastes

Mixed waste contains both hazardous and radioactive waste components. Regulation and collection of this type of waste are complex and are overseen by numerous agencies, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and the EPA.

Identification of Hazardous Waste

The hazardous waste identification process is the first step in proper hazardous waste disposal. Correctly determining the type of waste you are dealing with ensures that the steps you take to get rid of it are appropriate for the type.

The HWID process involves determining the answers to four questions: Is the material a solid waste? Is the waste excluded from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act? Is the waste specifically listed as hazardous waste? Does the waste have one of the four characteristics of hazardous waste?

Determining whether a waste is hazardous is the responsibility of the waste generator. Knowing the answers to the above questions helps you determine into which of the categories listed above your waste fits, if any. With this information in hand, you can better determine how and where to dispose of waste generated by your company.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Businesses are required by law to dispose of hazardous waste in a manner that protects the environment and prevents people from being exposed to it. Most companies that generate hazardous waste ship it to permitted treatment, storage and disposal facilities, or TSDFs. The facilities include solvent reclamation facilities, hazardous waste landfills, fuel blenders and incinerators.

Prior to shipment, all hazardous waste must be carefully separated. This must be done for both safety and economic purposes. All shipments must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation Hazardous Materials Regulations. Proper hazardous material labeling is mandatory, and all shipments must display the appropriate hazardous material placards. Shipments must be accompanied by a hazardous waste manifest and transported by an approved transporter.

Properly disposing of hazardous waste protects the environment and helps prevent death and injury. Understanding the various types of hazardous waste allows you to properly categorize and dispose of the waste generated by your business.

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