Sunday, February 14, 2016

Rumours of Freight Forwarding Giant Sell Off as More Fines Proposed

DHL Accused of Hazardous Goods Infringements as Global Sale Postulated
Shipping News Feature
US – GERMANY – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed seven civil penalties totalling $455,000 against DHL Express (USA) of Plantation, Florida, for allegedly violating Hazardous Materials Regulations, amid rumours that parent company Deutsche Post is looking to offload of the group’s Global Forwarding division, with Japan Post considered by some as a likely purchaser.

In the current case, which at least makes a change from the seemingly incessant torrent of antitrust and cartel cases faced recently by carriers and forwarders, the FAA alleges that DHL accepted shipments that were not properly prepared for air transportation, and failed to ensure its employees or agents received required hazardous materials training. All the shipments were discovered during inspections at the DHL Express package sorting facility in Erlanger, Kentucky. The proposed civil penalties are $65,000 for each case.

Elsewhere within the company, Deutsche Post is apparently looking to offload the struggling freight forwarding subsidiary, DHL Global Forwarding. The unit had a difficult 2015 with the failure of its IT modernisation project, the New Forwarding Environment (NFE), which saw the group take a one-off €345 million hit to its finances for 2015.

The FAA allegations are as follows:

Dec. 13, 2013: DHL accepted a box containing printing ink, a flammable liquid, for shipment on an ABX Air cargo flight from Memphis, Tennessee, to LeLude, France. The shipment was not accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration, the FAA alleges.

March 24, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing a one-litre can of paint, a flammable liquid, for shipment on an Atlas Air flight from Roswell, Georgia, to Victoria, Australia. The shipment was not accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration, the FAA alleges.

April 25, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing fuel control assembly, which is classified as a dangerous piece of machinery or apparatus, for shipment on an ABX Air cargo flight from Pompano Beach, Florida, to Rzeszow, Poland. The box had partially obscured orientation arrows and a proper shipping name.

Aug. 13, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing a fuel/defuel cart, with a corrosive battery installed, for shipment on a cargo flight from a US Army Warehouse in Poway, California, to Bagram, Afghanistan. The FAA alleges that the corrosive battery was not disconnected from its source and the shipment was not accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration.

Aug. 14, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing an airbag module for shipment on an ABX Air cargo flight from Tijuana, Mexico, to Midlothian, Virginia. The shipment was not accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration, the FAA alleges.

Sept. 15, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing two boxes of lithium ion batteries for shipment on an Atlas Air cargo flight from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Hong Kong. The FAA alleges that the shipment was not properly labelled.

Sept. 18, 2014: DHL accepted a box containing an airbag module on an ABX Air cargo flight from St. James, New York to Jung-Ku, South Korea. The shipment was not accompanied by a dangerous goods declaration, the FAA alleges.

These individual cases emphasise the points made in our recent piece, involving another German group, Hapag Lloyd, whose attention to detail has revealed the scope of the problem faced by ocean container lines when shippers fail to declare hazardous cargo