British Antarctic Survey

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Few logistics operations could meet the stringent demands made of the supply chain of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in support of its five stations, two polar vessels, five aircraft and scientific research projects.

The essential supplies include fuels, gases, chemicals, batteries and everything required for sustaining base personnel plus their equipment and project materials. Cargoes can include hazards of  classes 1-9, which must be transported through some of the planet’s most hostile seas. Uniquely nearly all of it, plus waste, must be removed to avoid damaging the fragile Antarctic environment.

The IMDG Code requirements are designed to minimise the risk of problems with dangerous cargo, all the more important in extreme conditions in remote locations. BAS use Hazcheck Workstation to check classification and packaging and to produce documentation for dangerous goods on board their supply vessels. ‘The busy period is May to October when the supply vessels are back to reload. We can be dealing with up to 180 boxes of mixed dangerous goods for one shipload. Working from the root UN Numbers, Hazcheck Workstation provides all the key information including special provisions, checks for correct segregation and produces the dangerous goods note with emergency response data. Working under pressure, it’s good to be prompted for critical information such as flashpoints and to get reliable segregation between, for example, two different substances of the same class but with conflicting properties, such as acids and alkalis of Class 8. The same tasks using two books and the supplement would take much longer, with less certainty of the result.’ Some of the containers that BAS must take back to the UK on the research and logistics supply vessel, the RRS Ernest Shackleton.

Hazcheck Workstation is the powerful but user-friendly tool for shippers, forwarders, agents and ship operators to check DG shipments and produce documentation. It displays key information, validates a mixed load for IMDG Code segregation compliance, and displays relevant packaging options. A Dangerous Goods Note can be produced in PDF format.

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