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Biocair assists with transport of chemical library

Challenge

Biocair received a request to ship an entire chemical library from Frankfurt, Germany to South Carolina (US). This library consisted of 1600 microtiter plates of discovery compounds dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide and over 34,500 vials of solid, early stage discovery compounds. The client asked that Biocair assist with the classification of the material and also asked that Biocair provide all packaging materials necessary for the move. It was further requested that all microtiter plates be transported at -20C, with the solid compounds to be transported at uncontrolled ambient temperature. A list of all chemicals was provided by the client. The client also provided a material safety data sheet (msds) for the compounds in solution, but was unable to provide hazard information for the solids.

Solution

Biocair first worked with the client to determine the appropriate hazard classification for the chemical library. To do this effectively and efficiently, a dangerous goods specialist with Biocair worked directly with the client to properly assess the hazards. The compounds in DMSO were deemed non-hazardous due to the dilution factor utilized (and the existing msds, which also indicated non-hazardous), while the solids were shipped conservatively as toxic. In addition to hazards that could be posed during transport, Biocair worked with the client to ensure that all items were screened for controlled substance and potential dual-use (export control) issues to ensure that all aspects of the move would be done in a compliant manner.

Once material classifications had been completed, a Biocair packaging specialist based in the UK attended the collection site to begin sorting and packing the items. The liquid compounds in plates were securely packaged in fibreboard boxes before being carefully placed in KryoTrans KT400 units in order to maintain the requested temperature of -20C. The solid compounds were packed in 187 fibreboard boxes that were carefully monitored to ensure that dangerous goods volume/amount restrictions were upheld for each package. The fibreboard boxes were then placed on pallets and offered for transport as overpacks in order to minimize any potential concern with regard to package damage during transport. The entire packaging process was completed in three days.

Outcome

Biocair personnel in the US and UK worked together to ensure that the clients valuable material was packaged and shipped in a time and cost effective manner. Through the use of technical specialists, Biocair was also able to ensure that all compliance related concerns were appropriately addressed. The client thanked Biocair for a “very smooth transfer process” and noted that all project goals had been met (no damage was incurred during transport and all of the liquid compounds were received well within the desired temperature range). Collection site personnel were equally impressed, commending Biocair on the detailed plans and procedures that were utilized during the packaging process.