Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook

The 2019 survey is Sponsored by Labelmaster, IATA, and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin.

DG Confidence Outlook Results


The forth annual Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook is the definitive outlook for the worldwide dangerous goods industry based on the thoughts and attitudes of DG pros across the globe.


DG Confidence Outlook Results

Shipping dangerous goods (DG)/hazardous materials (hazmat) is complex and high risk, and those responsible for compliance have an increasingly critical job. In an effort to better understand today's DG landscape, Labelmaster, International Air Transport Association (IATA), and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin partnered to survey DG professionals around the globe about how their organizations approach DG shipping and the compliance challenges they face to keep their supply chains safe and compliant.


Survey Participant Profile

DG Confidence Outlook Particapant Profile

Summary of Previous Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook

Key Takeaways

  • DG pros continue to find it challenging for their companies to operate a safe and compliant supply chain.
  • DG pros whose companies leverage technology to manage DG operations tend to be more confident in their ability to maintain a safe and compliant supply chain.
  • DG pros change the conversation with leadership to get the budget and resources necessary to meet current and future compliance and safety needs.

Read more in the 2019 Global DG Confidence Outlook results.


This Year's Global Dangerous Goods Confidence Outlook

Responses to this year's survey suggest that the attitudes and perceptions among DG pros have not changed much over the past year. DG pros still find compliance challenging and time-consuming and want additional support from their companies in order to efficiently and effectively maintain a safe, compliant, and realiable supply chain.

This year's Global DG Confidence Outlook examines:

  • The impact of the supply chain on business
  • Key gaps existing within the supply chain
  • Three types of organizational compliance based on survey responses
  • How to change the DG conversation
  • A roadmap to compliance

Linking DG to the Supply Chain, Data, and Technology

The supply chain can have a tremendous impact on an organization's overall performance. And managing DG safely and compliantly adds an even greater level of complexity to the supply chain. So how do DG pros feel about the value of their supply chain.

Overall, DG pros feel confident that their supply chain can meet current needs... with 1 in 5 believing they can support future needs, and only 13% indicating they cannot meet current needs.

DG Confidence Outlook Supply Chain Impact

DG Confidence Outlook Results


Supply Chain Gap #1 — Ability to Handle Reverse Logistics

The continued growth of ecommerce has brought with it challenges for companies, including increase reverse logistics activity.

DG Confidence Outlook Ecommerce Return Rate

This onslaught of return deliveries – both consumers returning to stores and stores returning to manufacturers and distributors – has created a challenging reverse logistics environment. And it is compounded by the fact that many products being purchased and returned online contain hazardous components such as lithium batteries, medical devices, laptops, varnishes, paints, cosmetics and other items.

In today’s e-commerce reality, it is critical that companies be prepared to handle reverse logistics. Unfortunately, many DG pros are not confident in their organization’s ability to manage this process.

DG Confidence Outlook Ecommerce Reverse Logistics
DG Confidence Outlook Ecommerce Reverse Logistics Needs

Supply Chain Gap #2 — Complete, Accurate, and Reliable Master Data

The supply chain has become increasingly data-driven, making access to and communication of timely and accurate master data imperative. Unfortunately, data accuracy, completeness and reliability are challenging.

These shortcomings are reflected both in the centralized data stored and communicated across companies’ supply chains and in the data quality and accuracy they receive from upstream supply chain partners.

DG Confidence Outlook Reliable Master Data

DG Confidence Outlook Results


Supply Chain Gap #3 — Limited Technology Available

One key reason for organizations’ inability to achieve data collection and transparency is the use of limited and disparate technology across the supply chain.

While technology has continued to advance and is critical to the supply chain, more than half of DG pros still rely on manual processes for shipping DG. Manual processes are fraught with inefficiencies, including the inability to validate shipments against the latest regulations and an overall slowing of shipping time.

DG Confidence Outlook Reliable Master Data

But simply using technology is not a guaranteed fix for DG management and compliance challenges. In many cases, DG pros believe that using their company’s existing systems, such as ERP and WMS technology, is not particularly effective (or understood) with respect to DG functionality.

DG Confidence Outlook ERP and WMS Technology

Technology can significantly improve the efficiency, accuracy and compliance of shipping DG. But every company is different, so it’s not a “one size fits all” approach. It’s about using the right technology and getting the most out of it.

DG shippers need to understand the functionality of their systems, know how these systems integrate into the DG supply chain and identify gaps in their infrastructure and processes. This will help improve compliance while providing greater transparency, both internally and with supply chain partners.



Supply Chain Gap #4 — Supply Chain Partners, Regulators, and Transportation Carriers

While some supply chain issues have to do with internal process or infrastructure gaps, others have to do with the risk associated with their partners.

DG Confidence Outlook Supply Chain Partners
DG Confidence Outlook Supply Chain Region
DG Confidence Outlook Supply Chain Regulators

DG Confidence Outlook Results


Key Types of Organizational Compliance

The survey statistically defined three distinct groups of companies based on attitudes and behavioral responses. Each is rooted in DG pros’ perceptions of how their companies view DG within their overall business operations.

A company’s group status impacts its:

  • Compliance Confidence
  • Resource Availability
  • Technology Effectiveness
  • Training
  • and Other Issues

Your company’s group gives you a framework that may provide a practical approach to help get more resources and, ultimately, increase compliance confidence.

DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

The Basically Compliant Group

DG Confidence Outlook Basically Compliant Group

The Basically Compliant company lags behind the industry in their level of investment in DG infrastructure and resources, making compliance more challenging for DG pros. DG pros within this group typically work at companies where DG management is viewed simply as a regulatory mandate, resulting in a lack of investment in DG compliance resources and, ultimately, a lack of confidence that DG compliance is managed effectively across their organization.


The Safely Compliant Group

DG Confidence Outlook Safely Compliant Group

The Safely Compliant company is generally confident in ensuring DG compliance across their organization, in part because of their company’s commitment to overall safety beyond the regulatory requirements. However, there is uncertainty in terms of what the future holds: The investment their company makes in DG is current within the industry, but needs updating to address future needs.


The Competitively Compliant Group

DG Confidence Outlook Competitively Compliant Group

The Competitively Compliant company views DG compliance as a competitive advantage in which investment is above the industry average. They are highly confident of DG compliance across their organization.


DG Confidence Outlook Results


Shifts in the DG Landscape

After comparing the sizes of each group over the past two years, we see that the balance of these three categories of compliance has shifted.

DG Confidence Outlook Shifts in the DG Landscape

Segmentation Insights

DG Confidence Outlook Segmentation Insights
DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

Macro Environment Influences

This year, we added questions related to macro environment inputs that may be hindering (or assisting) DG pros in maintaining a safe and compliant supply chain.

DG Confidence Outlook Segmentation Insights
DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

Three Areas to Focus on to Change the Conversation

DG pros who wish to elevate their organizations’ levels of compliance may need more resources. That means demonstrating to senior level management the broader financial importance of:

  1. Current logistics technology
  2. Supply chain information
  3. Enhanced training

#1 Current Logistics Technology

DG Confidence Outlook Technology Used
DG Confidence Outlook Technology Used
DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

#2 Supply Chain Information

Those in the Basically Compliant group have more gaps in overall data quality, completeness, and accuracy within their supply chains, but there is still room to improve in the other groups, as well.

DG Confidence Outlook Master Data Storage
DG Confidence Outlook Data Quality
DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

#3 Enhanced Training

DG Confidence Outlook Enhanced Training
DG Confidence Outlook Training Purpose
DG Confidence Outlook Compliance Company Types

A Roadmap to Compliance

When you know where your company fits, you can determine the steps you may need to take to raise your organizational commitment to compliance.

As we, as an industry, push toward creating a safer and more compliant supply chain, it will be up to individual organizations to drive greater levels of compliance. But this is a complex process and it can’t be fixed overnight.

Dowload the 2019 DG Confidence Outlook Results PDF to read the roadmap of practical steps toward creating a more safe and compliant supply chain for each type of company.

DG Confidence Outlook Results


About the Survey

The survey was conducted online between April 15 and May 31, 2019. This survey was open to DG pros and was not limited to Labelmaster customers, International Air Transport Association (IATA) members or subscribers of HCB media. It was promoted within Labelmaster, IATA, and HCB marketing properties.

All questions were developed by Labelmaster, IATA, and Hazardous Cargo Bulletin. Management of the survey and tabulation of the results were conducted by an objective third party. Neither Labelmaster, IATA, nor HCB has shared contact lists or information with each other or any other outside parties.

The data and results are copyrighted by Labelmaster, IATA, and HCB.


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