This year marks the 40th anniversary of the DOT-E 8249 Exemption Package which was originally invented by LPS Industries for UPS.
(Moonachie, NJ – April 2016) It’s been 40 years since LPS Industries set out to solve a problem facing the world’s largest freight carriers. LPS accepted and met the challenge of developing a safe and proven method of packaging hazardous materials that did not have to be segregated by shippers. The result was the DOT-SP 8249 exempt UN packaging system which established and remains the gold standard for safely shipping hazardous materials and chemicals.
The origins of DOT 8249 can be traced back to the 1970’s when a growing United Parcel Service (UPS) sought to expand their capabilities and revenue by developing a protocol for safely shipping hazardous materials mixed with other freight types via their standard trucking process.
Up to that point, federal regulations prohibited any size of hazmat shipment labeled as “poison” to be comingled with any consumables on the same truck. This forced manufacturers and distributors of dangerous goods to segregate, palletize, and ship the hazardous materials via a general freight carrier trucking company. In addition to adding time to the delivery cycle by having to use general freight carriers, the associated extra cost to ship in this manner was passed on to the customer, often at a premium of up to 10 times the cost of UPS’s standard delivery rates.
At the same time, UPS was also receiving many requests from smaller shippers, e.g., chemical companies, paint and coating manufacturers and distributors, among others to find a solution to their hazmat shipping challenges. Their collective need was for a practical, cost-effective method of delivering small quantities of hazardous materials, typically products or samples in one liter or smaller primary containers, to stores and customers.
Given their well-established relationship with LPS Industries, UPS turned to the packaging leader for a solution. The UPS loss prevention team challenged LPS to develop a DOT certified packaging solution that would have the integrity to be certified “exempt” (i.e., not requiring a poison label or any other hazardous warning label for domestic deliveries) so the packages could be comingled with drivers’ standard loads while providing optimal protection.
LPS met the challenge by designing, testing and ultimately manufacturing a packaging system that would respond to UPS’ needs while satisfying strict federal regulations. The approved “poison pack” was awarded the federal designation DOT-E 8249 Exemption Package, with the “E” standing for “Exempt”. The DOT recently changed the designation to DOT-SP 8249 with the SP standing for “Special Permit”. Everything about the package remains the same; only the DOT designation has changed.
As the 8249 exempt pack became the industry standard, LPS was soon contacted by FedEx who expressed interest in the product for air shipments. The DOT invited LPS to provide packaging samples for testing to quantify the integrity of the system. The testing was conducted by loading a plane with samples of LPS’ exemption package and crashing it into the Mojave Desert. The revolutionary packaging survived the test and was approved for use in air freight. FedEx quickly adopted LPS’ packaging system and was shortly followed by other air freight carriers, including UPS. Today, LPS is listed in the #1 position as the packaging resource for DOT Special Permit Packaging on the UPS website.
The revolutionary LPS packaging system is relied on by industry leaders in many sectors including specialty chemicals, paint manufacturers, specialty coatings, metal plating companies, and more. The 8249 exempt pack safely ships toxic/poisonous materials as well as a wide range of other hazard types, examples include flammable liquids and solids, self heating materials, corrosive materials, pyrophoric materials and oxidizers, regardless of their being in powder, granule, liquid or solid form.
LPS Industries’ unique packaging system comes in 0.5 and 1.0 liter primary container sizes for liquids and 1# to 6# sizes for solids. Both options are available in single, two, and four-pack varieties. All are exempt from carrying a poison/toxic label, and can be transported internationally along with standard UPS, FedEx, and other carriers’ shipments.
LPS Industries’ CEO, Madeleine Robinson, concluded, “We are always grateful when clients like UPS have the confidence to work closely with us on complex packaging issues. Through the years, there have been many instances where LPS Industries has pioneered a solution that had lasting impact like the DOT 8249 exempt pack. It’s a tribute to our clients who are willing to take on challenging packaging problems; and a tribute to the team at LPS who remains ready to meet those challenges with effective and lasting solutions.”