Items Requiring Hazmat Class Compliance When Shipping

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Shipping hazardous cargo in the United States requires carriers to hold a valid hazmat license. It ensures that all safety measures are met by the carrier when moving any hazmat items. When hiring a trucking company to move hazardous material you must ensure they hold a hazmat license. But how do you know which items require hazmat classification and which items don't? We put together this article to help you understand which items are considered hazardous, and which class they fall under. 

Here are the items that may fall under hazmat classification and can require a hazmat license to transport:

  • Adhesives that contain flammable solvents
  • Aerosol Products due to their explosive nature
  • Airbags that contain non-flammable compressed gas or explosive propellant
  • Alcohol 140 proof (70%) or higher alcohol
  • Alcohol-based Perfumes due to their flammable nature
  • Barometers that contain mercury
  • Dry Ice because it forms carbon dioxide and, when released, reduces the amount of oxygen in the air
  • First Aid Kits that contain bio-hazardous materials
  • Household Goods that contain strong bleaches, flammable liquids, acids and oxidizers
  • Mouthwash that contains alcohol
  • Nail Polish that contains acetone
  • Power Tools that contain hazardous batteries or dangerous liquids
  • Pressurized Caulking due to its explosive nature
  • Shock Absorbers that contain hydraulic fluid and compressed gas
  • Speakers that contain magnetized material

Hazmat materials fall under 9 classifications:

Class 1 – Explosives
Class 2 – Gases
Class 3 – Flammable Liquids
Class 4 – Flammable Solids
Class 5 – Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides
Class 6 – Toxic Materials and Infectious Substances
Class 7 – Radioactive Materials
Class 8 – Corrosive Materials
Class 9 – Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

If you are unsure which classification your cargo falls under please contact your carrier, or the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA).

Offsite Port Facilities To Expedite Drayage for Port of Oakland

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The port of Oakland is exploring numerous ways to expedite the drayage process in the Port of Oakland. One of the possible solutions is to use the large amount of land surrounding the port to create dray-off sites for containers, as wells as storage and repair facilities for chassis.  

What are dray-off sites? It's a location near a shipping port, where containers are brought to by the terminal after being unloaded off the ship. It speeds up the drayage times because it prevents trucks queuing in the terminals, waiting  until their turns to grab the containers. The Oakland dray-off sites will allow your container trucking company to arrive at the site and collect the containers which are already off the ship and waiting for them.

Having a dedicated location off-site for chassis storage and repairs will also free up space in terminals, giving port terminals more room to use for containers and trucks.  

Port of Oakland March Shipping Volume Surges


Container shipping at the Port of Oakland continued to surge in March, with the total number of containers imported and exported up 9.3% year on year.  

A total of 402 ships called on the port of Oakland in the 1st quarter, down by  5.6% from last year. Despite less vessels stopping at the port, each ship carried on average of 8.4% more cargo.  This signals further consolidation within ocean carriers. 

The port of Oakland is currently host to three terminals, which handle 1.34 million TEUs.  

Port of Oakland Terminal Looks to Automate Container Shipping


Automation in the shipping industry has been the dream of US ports for decades. It brings efficiency, cuts costs, and lowers the chance of mistakes. Major overseas ports have utilized automation for years, but US counterparts have yet to catch up. And as more super-ships begin to dock in the US, the need for greater efficiency has port terminals scrambling.

Automating the gantry cranes, stacking cranes and transport vehicles cost the port of Rotterdam $535 million. Now nearly every part of the container shipping process is automated by software, and supervised by remote workers.

While the cost to automate may be extreme, it was simple to justify in Rotterdam due to the tremendous volume of containers handled by the port. Compared to Oakland, the port of Rotterdam handles over 5 times the amount of containers. 

Another difficult step in automating the port of Oakland will be heavy job cuts. Some estimate that automation will eliminate 40-50% dockworker positions. While many businesses may be willing to cut jobs, the port of Oakland dockworkers are unionized under the ILWU, which is not interested in losing members.

It's not a question if Oakland will become automated, it is now a question of when.

Shipping Alliances in 2017


This year container shipping companies will once again undergo a consolidatory move in order to combat overcapacity. Previously, the 14 ocean carriers were split into 4 different alliances between themselves. The 2M Alliance which consisted of Maersk and MSC. The Ocean Three Alliance with CMA CGM, UASC,  and China Shipping as members. The G6 Alliance; NYK Line, OOCL, APL, MOL, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM. And the CKYHE Alliance; K Line, COSCO, Hanjin Shipping, Evergreen, Yang Ming.

On April 1st, the alliances will change to:

  • The Alliance: NYK, MOL, K Line, Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd, UASC
  • Ocean Alliance: CMA CGM, Evergreen, OOCL, COSCO Shipping
  • Maersk and MSC will remain as is in the 2M Alliance

How the new 2017 shipping alliances will effect the port of Oakland is anyone's guess. But you should be prepared for delays in operations during the first week of April. No loss of container shipping volume is expected despite the port of Oakland losing 3 weekly routes.

Planned $600 million expansion for the Port of Oakland

Port of Oakland Expansion

The Port of Oakland is revealing further detail about its $600 million expansion plan. With the goal of handling more cargo in mind, the project plans to provide upgrades for warehousing, road and rail expansions, and expanding the 2nd largest terminal operator. The full details of the plan can be seen below.

  • $244 million, mostly from government grants, to separate railroad tracks from major port roadways;
  • $90 million for a privately built refrigerated warehouse called “Cool Port;” and
  • $50 million to expand the port’s second-largest marine terminal, with private funds.

Complying With California's CARB Truck Drayage Regulation - Why It Matters!

Oakland Carb Trucking

Container trucking companies in California will want to take notice of the new changes in Drayage Truck Regulations. Starting this year, all trucks hauling containarized freight to and from the port of Oakland are required to be registered in CARB’s Drayage Truck Registry.

For now, port terminals promise to not deny uncompliant trucks at the gate. Instead, they are providing a 6-month window to require all trucking companies to register their trucks in the Drayage Truck Registry.  Starting April 3rd, all unregistered trucks will receive a warning on their interchange receipt, but they will still be allowed to enter the terminal.

However starting June 1st, unregistered trucks will be rejected if the trucks is not registered.

Ask the trucking company responsible for moving your containers if they are fully compliant with CARB laws.

Port of Oakland Terminal Holidays

Port of Oakland

The terminals at the port Oakland have announced their 2017 schedule which includes 14 vacation days. During those days, the terminals will not be in operation, and no containers will be exported or imported. Drayage to the port will not be possible during the dates listed below:

  • Jan 1 (Mon) - New Year's Day
  • Jan 16 (Mon) - ML King Day
  • Feb 13 (Mon) - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Feb 20 (Mon) - President's Day
  • May 29 (Mon) - Memorial Day
  • Jul 4 (Tues) - Independence Day
  • Jul 5 (Wed) - Bloody Thursday
  • Jul 28 (Fri) - Harry Bridges' Birthday
  • Sep 4 (Mon) - Labor Day
  • Nov 10 (Fri) - Veteran's Day
  • Nov 23 (Thurs) - Thanksgiving Day
  • Dec 25 (Mon) - Xmas Day
  • Jan 1, 2018 (Mon) - New Year's Day 2018