The results of the eighth annual 2023 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook were released today.
The survey was conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Labelmaster, and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin and its results highlighted the need to reduce process complexity, establish effective staff recruitment and retention programs, and enhance digitalization to facilitate the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods (DG) / hazardous materials (hazmat).
“Ongoing supply chain disruptions along with the continued growth of e-commerce and markets that rely on DG – from consumer products to electric vehicles – has made shipping goods safely and compliantly increasingly difficult. While organizations showed improvement in their DG operations over the last year, the survey underscored the need to reduce process complexity and enhance digitalization to address future supply chain and regulatory challenges,” said Robert Finn, vice president, Labelmaster.
“Confidence among DG professionals is high, yet challenges remain. These include process complexity, the mis-declaration of DG and the recruitment of skilled personnel. To meet the future growth in DG shipments, we need well-trained professionals following globally agreed standards and supported by the right technology and infrastructure,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of operations, safety, and security.
Key Findings and Recommendations
DG professionals are confident about the industry’s level of infrastructure and investment.
- 85% believe that their infrastructure is on par or ahead of the industry.
- 92% increased or kept their DG investment the same year-over-year.
- While 56% believe their current infrastructure meets existing needs, only 28% responded that it meets both current and future needs.
Process complexity, misdeclared DGs and attracting qualified staff remain challenging.
- 72% need more support to address future DG compliance.
- Views of the labor market are mixed, with 40% indicating that current challenges will persist, 32% expecting the labor market to improve and 28% believing that it will become more difficult to find qualified staff.
- 56% said they expect the misdeclaration of DGs to stay the same or worsen.
Sustainability remains a focus across the industry.
- 73% of DG professionals report that their organizations have sustainability initiatives in place or planned.
- However, 27% do not have any sustainability initiatives planned, showing room for improvement.
Creating a Better DG Supply Chain
The survey results point to the challenges that the air cargo value chain continues to face in process simplification, digitalization, and training. Some key compliance tools from IATA and Labelmaster are helping to address these needs:
- Reduce Complexity: Establish repeatable processes with DG software such as Labelmaster’s DGIS.
- Digitalization: Integrate DG software into enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management system (WMS) to ensure complete, accurate data, for example, connecting DG AutoCheck via API Connect.
- Training: Strengthen employees’ understanding of DG regulations with Labelmaster’s immersive 3D experiences.
Finn added, “While DG professionals are generally optimistic about the future, the survey shows improvements to processes are needed to adapt to supply chain and regulatory changes. The good news is there are plenty of tools available that will help organizations address current and future needs and keep regulated goods moving safely, compliantly, and efficiently.”