News | Oct. 15, 2021

DLA Distribution presents remediation project to DOD Hazardous Materials Packaging Working Group

By Dawn Bonsell, DLA Distribution Public Affairs Officer

The Defense Department’s Hazardous Materials Packaging Working Group, chaired by Jennifer Smith, Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters Logistic Operations Tech Quality Department, met virtually Sept. 30 to discuss remediation efforts for frustrated hazardous shipments, including a remediation process put in place by DLA Distribution.

Opening the meeting, Jan Mulligan, director of supply, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics, thanked the group for “all they’ve done since 2014 to make this process better for the department.”

The meeting covered various topics including a report on hazardous shipments from fiscal year 2009 – fiscal year 2013 through five major aerial ports within the continental United States with a substantial number of documentation and packaging discrepancies.

The group also discussed the integration of a web-based supply discrepancy report application that facilitates communication and interoperability between U.S. Military, DoD and federal agencies, and the International Logistics Control Office. WebSDR provides an effective means to report, resolve, and measure discrepancies related to pipeline performance.

Following a discussion on the military services’ contracting requirements related to HAZMAT shipments, DLA Distribution’s Sherry Amrhein presented information to the group on a DLA Distribution improvement project focused on remediation of vendor shipments.

DLA Distribution presents remediation project to DOD Hazardous Materials Packaging Working Group
Improperly packaged, marked, or certified material received at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution centers will be frustrated, causing delays in shipments to the warfighter.
DLA Distribution presents remediation project to DOD Hazardous Materials Packaging Working Group
DLA Distribution presents remediation project to DOD Hazardous Materials Packaging Working Group
Improperly packaged, marked, or certified material received at Defense Logistics Agency Distribution centers will be frustrated, causing delays in shipments to the warfighter.
Photo By: DLA Distribution Public Affairs
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“For this project, we focused on improperly marked, packaged or certified shipments intended for overseas warfighters,” Amrhein said.

As a solution, DLA Distribution will incorporate a “Type W” supply discrepancy report to improve accounting of the increased costs and visibility of the source of supply for corrective action. Amrhein also shared information about the impact remediation has to the overall delivery timeline to the customer stating, “shipments that require remediation increase transit time to the customer and overall costs to the Department of Defense.”

DLA will use data from supply discrepancy reports to help identify the root cause of issues, improving cost accounting and visibility of the source of supply for corrective action. In addition, DLA is asking contracting officers and government purchase card holders to ensure vendors comply with shipping requirements by properly packaging, packing and marking shipments. Vendors should also include proper hazardous shipper declarations and should ship directly to customers when possible. When transiting through the Defense Transportation System, CO’s and GPC holders should also ensure that vendors understand and comply with shipping requirements and complete hazardous shipper declarations.

Data from the Type W SDR’s will help identify root cause and ensure vendors take corrective actions to reduce future non-compliant shipments.

“Engaging the vendor as a partner to correct issues as a team is an important part of the process,” Smith said.

The HMPWG is a subcommittee of the Defense Packaging Policy Group. The decision-making team is responsible for developing, recommending, and implementing changes to ensure the most efficient procedures, policy, and standardization of hazardous material packaging throughout the military services and defense agencies. The HMPWG works to develop and coordinate policy, providing information to modify and establish policies and procedures for the most effective use of DOD resources.