Safety Warning! Make Sure You Know If Your Dunnage Bags are AAR Approved

Are your dunnage bags up-to-date with their AAR safety verification? If not, you are assuming significant risk, in the form of personal and public safety, damage, and the associated costs.

Many options are available for dunnage air bags. You may simply look for the best price or a local supplier who will provide easier access. However, you must not overlook whether the dunnage bags are approved for use on railways by the Association of American Railroads.

The Product Performance Profile for Pneumatic Dunnage (PPPPD) General Information Bulletin No. 9, approved by the damage prevention and freight claim committee of the AAR, explains the guidelines for dunnage bag approval. Developed with input from manufacturers, this document provides the acceptable confidence level for use of dunnage bags for shippers, vendors, and transportation carriers.

 Click here to download the PPPPD General Information Bulletin No. 9. Download PDF

Beyond outlining the performance requirements for approval, the document details the re-verification requirements and procedures for after test failures. Today, we must concern ourselves with the re-verification requirements; we encourage rail shippers to periodically check the AAR website to verify the bags they are using are compliant.

According to the document:

“All pneumatic dunnage that has successfully completed testing, as outlined in this document, will require Association of American Railroads re-verification every three years. … Failure to re-verify will result in revocation of existing verification.” *emphasis added.

This means any manufacturer that does not have their product re-verified after three years is no longer AAR approved, and their dunnage bags could potentially suffer from product deficiencies.

Finding out which products are still AAR approved is a relatively straightforward process. The AAR provides a PPPPD Product Verification List, which lists manufacturers, the level of verification, and – most importantly – the date of verification.

If the date of verification is over three years ago, that product is no longer approved. It has not been re-verified. On today’s date of April 25, 2014, anything from before April 25, 2011 is now outdated.

You will note, for example, the first outdated item on the list: Cargo Perfect Co., Ltd. Level 1, which has a verification date of January 13, 2011. There are many others on the list.

We encourage you to investigate this list for yourself, to ensure that you are not using unapproved and potentially unsafe products.

Download PDF Click here to download the PPPPD Product Verification List.


>> All Complete Packaging dunnage air bags are currently AAR approved and verified. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter,
please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately.

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Written by Erik Burden

Erik Burden

Erik Burden is the product marketing specialist at Complete Packaging Systems. He serves clients with in-depth knowledge of cargo securement, load planning, and dunnage products for all types of transportation. He also loves hockey and golf!

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