Why a hazmat fee?


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shaff1101
June 14, 2013, 04:27 PM
Why is it I can buy however many rounds I want without paying a hazmat shipping fee, but when buying primers and powder seperately I have to pay for one?

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Boostedtwo
June 14, 2013, 04:30 PM
I have always wondered the same thing, doesn't make since

beatledog7
June 14, 2013, 06:05 PM
Put simply, it's about packaging and the density of the powder or primers. Completed ammo gets around the restrictions.

It's DOT and BAFTE regs that require this, not the sellers.

Edit: I should have been more specific. The sellers tap us for the fee because the carrier taps them. Big Brother requires the extra care in handling, the shipper has to comply---and it runs downhill.

david bachelder
June 14, 2013, 06:10 PM
Shipping regulations are set by DOT (Department of Transportation). DOT defines how various materials must be packaged and shipped in order to provide safe transport. If you manufacture a potentially hazardous product you must hire an independent lab to do the testing for DOT. The independent lab does the testing and files a request to DOT for what is called a shipping classification. After DOT reviews the labs recommendations the manufacturer receives what is called an EX number from DOT. The EX Number is referenced to describe shipping and labeling requirements. In other words a Hazard Class is assigned. I have had to have this done for a few of my products. See CFR49 (Code of Federal Regulations) for details,

!!! WARNING !!!

It's a very dull read. When you receive a hazmat package you will see the manufacturers EX number recorder on one of the labels.

DOT does not require HazMat fees. The vendors charge this fee because the packaging and transportation requirements set forth by DOT require extra time for employees to process.

So FedEx and UPS are the guys charging HazMat fees not DOT. They charge these fees to cover extra time and handling by the staff, extra labels and all other added shipping costs. Preparing a HazMat shipment requires a trained individual. Initial training and followup training every three years or so is required.

Most loaded ammo falls under the classification, or better said exemption, ORM-D (Other Regulated Materials-Domestic). January 1 2014 many of the DOT classifications will change to some degree. As far as FedEx is concerned the shipping exemption ORM-D for loaded ammo will no longer be available. There will be a similar exemption created, I don't believe hazmat fees will apply, I think only the package labeling will change.

As always, extra costs are always passed on to the consumer.

Rule3
June 14, 2013, 06:14 PM
Look at how Federal Primers are packaged VS say CCI primers, The extra bulk in packaging is due to Federals being more sensitive and a chain reaction can happen.

Loaded ammo is relatively safe to bumps and banging around. Primers are explosive, Large amounts of powder in a plastic container can burn.

It 's a Govt regulation thing, there are many other Haz Mat items other than powder and primers.

What gets me more than just the fee and paperwork is that they are not really packaged that much different that other no haz mats items. Yes the cardboard box may be a little heavier but not that much.

david bachelder
June 14, 2013, 06:17 PM
FYI

BATFE does not regulate Smokeless Powder or Primers and I'm not sure who does. This is because Smokeless Powder and Primers are not listed on the "List Of Explosives" published by the BATFE.

Black Powder is another story, BATFE does regulate Black Powder, unless it is used for recreational purposes in an antique fire arm. If so you are allowed up to 50 lbs in your possession with out an explosives permit (FEL, Federal Explosives License) or explosives magazine.

You can thank the NRA for that exemption.

ReloaderFred
June 14, 2013, 08:43 PM
david bachelder gave the correct answer. When the HazMat fee was first introduced, it was $2.50 per package, but quickly went up to $5.00. It has gradually gone up over the years, but as David pointed out, it's the carriers who are charging the fee to cover their costs for the government mandates.

Hope this helps.

Fred

Rule3
June 14, 2013, 09:08 PM
In all it's Government Glory.:rolleyes: Start your search here and any you will be taken to many wonderful links of endless information.:uhoh:

http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat

Hondo 60
June 14, 2013, 11:32 PM
The "Hazmat Fee" is just a way for the shippers to collect more profit.
It's called GREED.

There is NO regulation saying the shippers have to charge any fee.

beatledog7
June 15, 2013, 12:07 AM
There is NO regulation saying the shippers have to charge any fee.

But they do incur expense in complying, which they pass along, just as one would expect.

Reefinmike
June 15, 2013, 01:19 AM
Does anyone have an idea what the direct cost to a company such as powdervalley wideners cabellas etc for shipping out a hazmat package? Is it truly the $27.50 that they all charge? We all know some companies profit on exaggerated shipping costs. Does a jackson go in Mr fedex's pocket while Mr Larry Potterfield takes a Lincoln, a couple paper washingtons and a couple metallic washingtons? :scrutiny:

david bachelder
June 15, 2013, 11:16 AM
FedEx charges $27.50 for HazMat.

The retailer adds his added expences into the ground shipping fee.

You get charged twice. Once for HazMat (this goes directly to FedEx) and the second charge is for ground shipping.

FedEx gets the whole $27.50.

I answer for FedEx because that was the carrier I used. I'm pretty sure UPS is the same.

Kuyong_Chuin
June 15, 2013, 11:35 AM
If an item is listed as a Hazardous material not only does the driver have to have a hazmat endorsement on his CDL which adds more cost to his or her license but also the shipper has to purchase a permit to carry the item to the point of delivery. When shipped to a store that carries powder and such hazmat supplies the store pays for the shipment and the any permits need for the whole load being delivered to their place of business. The stores just raise the cost to cover the overhead of the shipment which only add a little to the total price when you buy it from them since the cost is spread out over the whole shipment. When you buy it online you are eating the whole cost of that permit as well as the shipping charges. We used to own a trucking company and if permits were needed on a load it was added to the cost we charged for delivering the load.

rbernie
June 15, 2013, 11:39 AM
The "Hazmat Fee" is just a way for the shippers to collect more profit.
It's called GREEDNo, it's called free enterprise. If the ability for a free enterprise to charge market rate bothers you, move to Venezuela. On the other hand, if the notion of the surcharge is not what emotionally bothers you but the value is what sticks in your craw, feel free to put your own money where your mouth is and establish your own shipping service and find out first hand how much should be charged.

I hate infantile snipes about the workings of a free market, made by folk who haven't got a clue as to how lucky they are to live in a market-centric society....

steve4102
June 15, 2013, 11:41 AM
But they do incur expense in complying, which they pass along, just as one would expect.

Correct! Special handling. special packaging, special this special that, It all costs the shipper $$$$$, only a fool would incur all these extra expenses and not charge for them. That would be a sure and fast way to go out of business.

We are lucky USP and FedEx still ship this stuff. They could just as easily say "Screw it" we are not going to waist time and loose $$$ putting up with all the hassles of shipping powder and primers. Just like the USPS.

KansasSasquatch
June 15, 2013, 12:11 PM
There are a few online retailers that don't directly charge a hazmat fee, like DAGammo. But their prices tend to be higher and they have minimum order amounts. Some places like Bruno's have high prices and minimum orders and still charge a hazmat fee. Shop around, do some math, and spend your money where you think you get the best value.

brickeyee
June 15, 2013, 12:21 PM
The hazmat tag has to be filed out.

Every driver transporting the package has to pull off a copy of the tag and keep it in the cab with him.

Depending on shipping distance, it can take multiple copies of the 5 part hazmat form on each package (I have had primers arrive with two copies of the form with only one tear off copy left).

The idea came about when first responders (mainly the fire departments) had NO IDEA what was in the truck in the accident sitting in front of them that was starting to burn.

Since the carriers have to comply with DOT, they want to be paid for their labor.

It is just like taxing a business.
Whomever buys from the business ends up paying the tax.

Free lunches remain remarkably scarce.

CatPuke
June 15, 2013, 12:56 PM
Does anyone have an idea what the direct cost to a company such as powdervalley wideners cabellas etc for shipping out a hazmat package? Is it truly the $27.50 that they all charge? We all know some companies profit on exaggerated shipping costs. Does a jackson go in Mr fedex's pocket while Mr Larry Potterfield takes a Lincoln, a couple paper washingtons and a couple metallic washingtons? :scrutiny:
I think if you're looking for hidden profits, the regular shipping charges are where the money is (if a business is taking advantage).. a few years back, I had occasion to work in a 3rd-party warehouse that shipped GM parts to dealers.. I believe the deal was (with ups anyway), any package that isnt oversized or hazardous cost about $3 to ship to any business address in the us. No weighing, no complex zip-code calculations, just "x" packages at "x" fee per package. I gotta believe something similar is going on when many smaller shops are eating the shipping, or charging a flat-fee based on the value of the order..

Places like Midway or Natchez charge to the gram, and places like Berry's will ship anything "free" as long as you're ordering $75 or more worth of stuff.

Calculations get "odd" when you're dealing in uber-volume.. at the time, anything returned by a dealer with a retail value of under about $80 went straight to the trash can.. the accountants figured out that the value of the part, plus the labor to put it back on the shelf exceeded the cost of a new part.. especially when you considered the fact that some dealers would put a used part back in the box to return it, or the dude in the warehouse would inevitably put some small percentage of parts back in the wrong bin.. and the next customer would be mad when you shipped him a used part in a new box, or the wrong part entirely..

Keep in mind, I'm not saying anyone is getting a "free lunch".. statistically, over time, its pretty easy to figure out the "average" cost of shipping, and what the "average" weight of an "average" order is for a particular vendor.. if you already know that, calculating the "exceptions" to the averages costs more (for both parties), than eating a small loss on a couple big packages every day, and doing extra work to calculate savings (to the customer) on exceptionally small orders. At the time, GM would also pay that $3 shipping fee on a $.75 bolt (and not charge the dealer extra)..

david bachelder
June 15, 2013, 02:00 PM
FedEx bases their shipping charges on their customers volume. Companies that ship a great deal of packages get better pricing than companies that do not.

A small company is likely to get a 10% discount where as a larger company will get as much as 35%.

Midway probably qualifies for the large discount. I'm sure the discount winds up in Midways pocket. After all they are a business and they are in business to make money. Shopping at Midway is a choice. You choose to shop there or you choose to shop elsewhere.

Making a profit off shipping is commonplace.

Art Eatman
June 15, 2013, 02:00 PM
Powder and primers are declared as hazardous by the feds. Your opinion or the shipper's opinion is irrelevant. The fee helps to defray the added cost of insurance for transport of hazardous materials. Any special handling as well, of course, depending on the federal rules involved with the particular material.

As far as the pricing policies of the freight companies, consider that quite a few have gone bankrupt in these last few years. For some, it's a case of "Gouge a bit or go broke." Reality is rough.

Lloyd Smale
June 16, 2013, 08:50 AM
the sellers of powder would like to see this go away probably more then you. How many times have all of us who needed a lb of two of powder drove 20 miles to get it because it was still cheaper then paying hazmat to have have it shipped.

ReloaderFred
June 16, 2013, 12:10 PM
Shippers who don't cover their costs go out of business. I used to ship a lot of stuff on Railway Express Agency. They were cheap, efficient and didn't cover their costs properly, so they went the way of the Kiwi..........

The bottom line is, it's cheaper to pay the shipping than to drive there and pick it up yourself, especially when you're talking about ordering from across the country.

Hope this helps.

Fred

RandyP
June 16, 2013, 01:44 PM
I have no problem with companies recovering their shipping costs - I always have the option of shopping locally for things and then incurring all the travel expenses myself.

Gas here in Chicago is $4.60 and UP a gallon for regular unleaded. My van gets 19-20mpg and the nearest good LGS or even a Cabelas is a 60+ mile round trip from my house - the math on supposed 'savings' is pretty easy to do. I pay a "Gas-Mat" fee for all my local buys.

david bachelder
June 16, 2013, 04:16 PM
"I pay a "Gas-Mat" fee for all my local buys."

I'm in the same boat. Its a fifty mile round trip for me to go to the LGS. I actually save money paying Hazmat.

For the record, I'd love to see HazMat go away, but don't hold your breath. I hear that DOT is rethinking a lot of shipping requirements. So requirements may get worse or it may even get better.

Clark
June 16, 2013, 06:25 PM
I watched a TV show about all the explosions they had before they came up with the current system. Was in the 1920s?

Modern Marvels Season 10 Episode 24
Dangerous Cargo
Toxic traffic is everywhere! An average of 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials hit our highways and railways daily. From Wild West wooden crates filled with explosives to HAZMAT containers of nuclear waste, we shadow dangerous...

jack44
June 16, 2013, 08:50 PM
Its just a CURSE we re loaders have to put up with!.

steve4102
June 16, 2013, 09:57 PM
Shippers who don't cover their costs go out of business. I used to ship a lot of stuff on Railway Express Agency. They were cheap, efficient and didn't cover their costs properly, so they went the way of the Kiwi..........

The bottom line is, it's cheaper to pay the shipping than to drive there and pick it up yourself, especially when you're talking about ordering from across the country.

Can't argue with that! :):):)

rogn
June 18, 2013, 06:59 PM
Im afraid Im too much of a cynic to believe all the drivel about hazmat fee specifically regarding small arms propellants and primers. First, the best references I ve found indicated "0" problems w/ smokeless and small arms primers shipments. No charges until the middle '80s when some one? shipping firms ? discovered a great fresh new cut of pork. This pig has gotten fatter every year , almost. The only costs incurred that could equal the 27.50$ might be the insurance requirements imposed, because they could. Filing and holding a copy or two per package cant account for it. Everything else including drivers certification is amortized over the entire fiscal year, IF the driver doesnt have to foot the bill him or herself. Neither can hte packaging, bullet sales seem to be the only ones packing with real authority. I guess to avoid insurance excess due to broken toes.
bernie if we dont try to correct these porcine "free markets " we could be much more like Venezuela. Our current trend is similar in many ways.

orionengnr
June 18, 2013, 07:40 PM
I hear that DOT is rethinking a lot of shipping requirements. So requirements may get worse or it may even get better.
BWAHAHAHAAAAA!!!
Yeah, 'cause that happens all the time! :neener:

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