Skip to content
Home » November/December 2020

November/December 2020


The Industrial Packaging Alliance of North America (IPANA) continues to welcome new members.  In November,  the Alliance added Sherwin Williams to our roster. Sherwin Williams is based in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and will be affiliated with the Industrial Steel Drum Institute. Mr. Aaron Sullivan will represent Sherwin Williams and he attended our recent “virtual” meeting in October. 

The Rigid Intermediate Bulk Container Association (RIBCA) has released a new two minute video designed to educate users on the meaning behind the UN markings  on  each container. The new video, Decoding the Marks on an Composite Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC), details what each section of the UN mark signifies with regards to package testing and certification to international standards and domestic regulations. You can view the video by clicking here. The video will also be linked on the RIBCA website to RIBCA’s You Tube Channel and is available for download.  The video was produced jointly with the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association (RIPA).

Dating back to November of 2018, both the Plastic Drum Institute (PDI) and the Rigid Intermediate Bulk Container Association (RIBCA) have participated in an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards development committee on the Sustainability of Plastic Packaging, STP 3420.  The latest session was held November 4, 2020 and the committee has taken PDI/RIBCA comments into account for the first draft. The scope of the standard has been narrowed to only include retail and consumer packaging.   The committee hopes to wrap up the first draft ballot in early 2021.

The Industrial Steel Drum Institute (ISDI) recently announced Ed West as a recipient of the organization’s Lifetime Membership Award. The ISDI Lifetime Membership Award is given to long-time members of the steel drum industry in recognition of their service and dedication to the organization and the industry. West began his career in the steel drum industry in 1965 with Savannah Steel Drum Corporation, which later became Rheem Manufacturing. There, he worked as the Director of Marketing, District Sales Manager and Southern Region Sales Manager. After 14 years in Savannah, West returned to Charlotte and founded the General Steel Drum Corporation (GSD) where he worked for the next 41 years. During that time, he also co-founded and served as President of Innovative Driver Services; chaired the board of the Steel Shipping Container Institute; and co-founded the Southeastern Chemical Conference, of which he served as Chairman from 2016 to 2020. In 2011, GSD was acquired by Stavig Industries of Portland, Oregon. After the acquisition, West stayed on as Vice President of Sales for nearly 10 years before retiring after 56 years in industry.


Regulatory Updates

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced an expansion and extension of the modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-0002. The order would have expired on December 31, 2020. The new extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance related to COVID-19 as was included in the September 11th modified and extended declaration. One significant change in the recent declaration relates to vaccine transportation.  You can view the order by clicking here.



Union leaders including those from the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers are urging President elect Biden to immediately establish a COVID-19 safety standard. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, specifically asked for the creation of an OSHA emergency temporary standard (ETS). “For four years, OSHA has been AWOL,” he stated. “One of the best ways OSHA can reestablish its mission is through an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19.”  As the vaccine becomes widely available in 2021, that may slow this effort. Union leaders have asked for a six-month time frame to complete the regulation. Both California and Virginia have recently issued state specific standards.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has issued the organization’s 2020 update to “An Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking”. Their detailed analysis is widely used as an industry benchmarking tool.  The new document notes the slowdown in freight which occurred in the second half of 2019.   The economic softening, combined with a number of other independent factors including lower fuel prices, decreased the marginal cost of trucking.

After their success in supporting Prop 22 in California, a group of companies that rely on workers that use apps  has launched a new alliance entitled,  App-Based Work Alliance. The coalition includes Uber and Lyft as well as DoorDash, Instacart and Postmates.  The California Prop 22 initiative helped “gig” workers avoid being classified as employees.  This initiative was fiercely opposed by labor unions.


People, Places & Things

Is ZOOM fatigue a thing?  It sure seems like it is.  The Korn Ferry Institute has some tips to avoid fatigue including keeping sessions to 30 minutes if possible, with a maximum of two hours.  Hiding your own video and scheduling breaks that include moving around are also helpful.   You can read more tips here.