Trans­port­ing dan­ger­ous goods

Rad­hara­manan Pan­icker, a well-known cargo in­dus­try pro­fes­sional and long-stand­ing CEO of Cargo Ser­vice Cen­ter (CSC) quit the company on June 30, 2014 after more than 19 years at its helm. In con­ver­sa­tion with CARGOTALK, he talks about his three months of

Cargo Talk - - Interview -

What are your plans ahead?

I took a much-needed rest of two weeks after more than 25 years of hec­tic cor­po­rate life in the lo­gis­tics and ex­press in­dus­try. The rest had pro­found im­pact on me and made me re­flect on what I had achieved in th­ese many years and what I want to do now.

To­wards the end of ex­plor­ing business op­por­tu­ni­ties, I am cur­rently en­gaged in sev­eral dis­cus­sions with prospec­tive part­ners for joint ven­tures in ar­eas of my keen in­ter­est-cargo ware­hous­ing and han­dling, per­ish­able lo­gis­tics and dan­ger­ous goods lo­gis­tics.

While ex­plor­ing th­ese ideas and ven­ture, one project that is close to my heart is train­ing in the area of lo­gis­tics and dan­ger­ous goods reg­u­la­tions. I feel there is lot to con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of pro­fes­sion­als for the in­dus­try.

You are cur­rently busy with DGM In­dia. Can you elab­o­rate what the project is about?

The in­dus­try both con­sumes and cre­ates an abun­dance of hazardous ma­te­rial that must be stored, han­dled and also trans­ported across the globe. Dan­ger­ous goods are sub­stances, by virtue of their chem­i­cal, phys­i­cal and or tox­i­co­log­i­cal prop­er­ties pose risk to health, safety, prop­erty or the en­vi­ron­ment. What dif­fer­en­ti­ates dan­ger­ous goods from other types of cargo is the risk as­so­ci­ated with the ac­ci­den­tal re­lease of ma­te­rial dur­ing stor­age, trans­porta­tion and han­dling.

Some years back, I had taken the fran­chise for DGM in In­dia and that is what DGM In­dia is all about. DGM In­dia is an IATA Au­tho­rised Train­ing School and also ap­proved by Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion to con­duct dan­ger­ous goods reg­u­la­tion course. Ac­tu­ally, the company is nearly nine years old, but I had no time, busy as I was with the de­vel­op­ment of CSC.

Now that I have left CSC, I have taken full con­trol of the company and aim to take it to a higher level of growth.

What are the in­her­ent risks and how is DGM safe­guarded against them?

When one signs the ship­per’s dec­la­ra­tion, he takes a big risk of stat­ing that he is in com­pli­ance with all in­ter­na­tional and na­tional reg­u­la­tion, when he may ac­tu­ally not aware about all the reg­u­la­tions.

The sec­ond risk is he uses sub-stan­dard pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial to save costs. In dan­ger­ous goods business, you can­not cut cor­ners and un­for­tu­nately in In­dia we have too many fake pack­ages be­ing sold.

We take the onus of sign­ing the ship­per’s dec­la­ra­tion on be­half of the ship­pers. But a DGM company glob­ally fol­lows a very strict Stan­dard Op­er­at­ing Pro­ce­dure on which we are reg­u­larly au­dited.

You men­tioned that DGM In­dia is also do­ing train­ing cour­ses...

DGM In­dia to con­ducts train­ing in the reg­u­la­tion on trans­port of dan­ger­ous goods by air (IATA DGR) for var­i­ous cat­e­gories of per­son­nel in­volved in the air cargo sup­ply chain from ship­pers to air­line staff.

DGM In­dia has been con­duct­ing the cour­ses since last six years. We have held more than 50 ini­tial cour­ses of six days and 20 re­cur­rent cour­ses and we in­tend to scale this up to more than dou­ble now. Glob­ally, the DGM Group is the big­gest in terms of IATA ATS cour­ses.

DGM In­dia also pro­vides train­ing in the reg­u­la­tion on trans­port of dan­ger­ous goods by sea (IMDG Code), but only for cor­po­rate at the mo­ment. We have done more than 15 such cour­ses till date and will now ex­pand our ac­tiv­i­ties in due course of time.

Rad­hara­manan Pan­icker

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