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Labelmaster Survey Shows Pandemic’s Effect on Hazmat Supply Chain

August 10, 2021




United States

August 10, 2021 (Chicago, IL) – Labelmaster, the leading provider of products, services and technology for the safe and compliant transport of dangerous goods (DG) and hazardous materials (hazmat), today announced the results of its sixth annual 2021 Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook. Sponsored by Labelmaster, International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin, the survey of 465 DG pros from around the world examined how organizations managed the pandemic and the ability of their DG management operations to meet supply chain needs. The survey found the need for greater awareness among senior leadership and further investment in DG training and technology.

“The past year has put tremendous pressure on the global supply chain,” said Robert Finn, vice president, Labelmaster. “While the industry kept goods moving, several problematic areas came to light in organizations’ ability to keep dangerous goods (DG) safe and compliant moving forward, particularly related to greater organization awareness and the need for further investment in DG training, technology and infrastructure.”

Key Findings from the Report

Last year’s survey (conducted in June 2020) found that organizations struggled with: receiving goods in a timely manner, lack of carrier availability, training/recertifying employees and keeping teams up-to-date on new and existing compliance rules.

This year’s survey (conducted between March and April 2021) found that despite the range of supply chain challenges, DG pros feel their organizations managed the pandemic reasonably well.

  • 80% agree their companies coped well during the pandemic
  • 62% agree their supply chain IT capabilities supported DG management well during the pandemic

And many are confident that things are getting back to normal.

  • Already back to normal (37%), within the year (29%), 1-2 years (19%), over two years or will never return to normal (14%)

Organizational Performance Gaps

Despite positive sentiment, DG pros are signaling there are still critical organizational issues to be addressed. The most pressing being organizational awareness and infrastructure (50%), training curriculum that meets goals and supports remote learning (46%), harmonized regulations and interpretations (44%) and DG technology (42%).

Given these issues, DG pros acknowledge significant performance gaps.

  • Infrastructure: Only 25% believe their company’s current infrastructure is equipped to meet future needs, and less than 20% believe existing tech at their company supports future DG needs
  • Compliance training: 41% feel their current training/recertification curriculum is not equipped to meet future needs
  • Organizational awareness: 31% feel their company’s senior leaders are not aware of their DG supply chain challenges, and 36% indicate their companies only adhere to the minimum requirements

However, in spite of needing better DG resources, organizational support is not expected to grow with future spending on DG management: Less (15%), the same (60%) and more (25%).

Finn added, “Though organizations feel positive about how they have managed the pandemic, DG pros recognize potential challenges on the horizon if DG management gaps are left unaddressed. But in order to address these gaps, senior leadership needs to recognize the critical role DG management plays in the supply chain and overall business, and then invest in the training, technology and resources needed to not only keep the supply chain running (even when major disruptions arise), but provide real business value and differentiation.”

To learn more about how the pandemic has impacted the DG supply chain, and the changes DG pros feel are needed within their organizations, download the full infographic:

About Labelmaster
For more than five decades, Labelmaster has been the go-to source for companies – big and small – to navigate and comply with the complex, ever-changing regulations that govern the transport of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. From hazmat labels and UN-certified packaging, hazmat placards and regulatory publications, to advanced technology and regulatory training, Labelmaster’s comprehensive offering of industry-leading software, products, and services helps customers remain compliant with all dangerous goods regulations, mitigate risk and maintain smooth, safe operations. Labelmaster's dedication to supporting its customers' operational and compliance needs is enhanced through its unmatched industry expertise and consulting services, which serve as a valuable resource for customers to answer difficult and commonplace regulatory questions. Whether you're shipping hazardous materials by land, air, or sea, Labelmaster is your partner in keeping your business ahead of regulations and compliant every step of the way. To learn more, visit