Comparing Steel Salvage Drums and Overpacks

There’s a wide variety of containers on the market, each with its own specific purpose. Two of the most common—steel salvage drums and overpacks—are often confused with one another. Despite the stark differences between the two, some still find themselves mixing up the two.

But that’s okay. There are numerous container types in shipping, so mix-ups can happen. Fortunately, we’re here to clear the air with this quick overview of what makes steel salvage drums and overpacks different.

What Is a Steel Salvage Drum?

An essential aspect of comparing steel salvage drums and overpacks is understanding what constitutes each. To start, a steel salvage drum’s design makes it ideal for containing hazardous materials. They’re used when these materials are damaged, defective, or leaking. They comprise polyethylene, aluminum, or metal and must pass an air-leak proof test before use. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the use of these drums.

This means that if a company or shipper wishes to transport the hazardous materials contained within a steel salvage drum, they must use it under specific restrictions. Doing so ensures the safe transport and disposal of any materials inside it. These drums are larger than the packages or goods contained within them. This characteristic allows these hazardous loads to be safely shipped to a disposal or treatment facility to be processed further.

What Is an Overpack Drum?

On the other hand, an overpack drum is an enclosure type typically used by one consignee to provide protection, convenience, and control when handling a package. It’s also worth noting that these drums help consolidate two or more packages in the same container. Further, unlike salvage drums, overpacks are most effective for containing small, non-leaking packages. Of course, the packages within an overpack cannot have been breached.

Plus, the standards of cargo within the container must still meet DOT requirements. Overpacks are generally plastic, making them an excellent choice for those seeking economy containers. Regardless, it’s safe to say that these two drum types are quite different indeed. So if comparing steel salvage drums and overpacks is a straightforward task, why do people often confuse the two?

Why Is There So Much Confusion?

The reason for all of the confusion is actually pretty simple. You see, since the conception of containment and shipping industries, manufacturers have referred to salvage drums as overpacks. Thus, as a force of habit, professionals become familiar with the term “overpack” and use it interchangeably with the word “salvage drum.” Potentially, this common mix-up can have some concerning side effects. After all, salvage drums serve the distinct purpose of transporting hazardous materials.

And overpacks are more valuable for convenient shipping or package protection and consolidation. That’s why it’s crucial for those ordering these containers to be versed on the nuances of each. Of course, if you’re in the market for either, Best Containers is just a phone call away. We have a wide range of overpacks and steel barrels for sale. So don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll answer all your questions and get you set up with the proper containers to meet your needs.

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