History & Mission
It has been BDG's mission for over 35 years to provide quality training, software and consulting services relating to the safe and legal transport of dangerous goods internationally.
Our mission is to assist and educate shippers and carriers of Dangerous Goods by providing quality training, software and consulting services relating to the safe and legal transport of Dangerous Goods internationally.
Today, we're celebrating 35 years of serving the Dangerous Goods industry. The Bureau of Dangerous Goods operates out of St. Augustine, Florida, and continues to provide quality Dangerous Goods software, training and consulting services to the Dangerous Goods and hazardous materials industry. With our team of professionals, there isn’t much that we can’t do when it comes to helping clients solve the most challenging Dangerous Goods scenarios encountered.
We operate our business on a set of principles that we have coined as the acronym “POWER” because there is power in partnerships with our clients.
We rely on highly trained team members and vendor partners that are adaptable, self-reliant, and able to operate in all aspects of our business environment. We respond quickly to needs, create opportunities, and we are always thorough, decisive and will be morally and ethically responsible to achieve company goals and objectives.
In 1982, Russ Bowen was working as a restricted article specialist for a major cargo airline and was responsible for safely loading and expediting shipments of Dangerous Goods throughout the world. As he navigated the complex rules and regulations to ensure the safe transport of these goods to the destination, he kept coming back to the same challenging statement, “There’s got to be a better way”.
So that summer, Russ launched off on his own and started the Bureau of Dangerous Goods, where he created a better way to safely expedite shipments of Dangerous Goods, utilizing groundbreaking computer technology to enhance the Dangerous Goods checklists that were already in place. His vision was to automate this process to make it easier for both shippers and carriers to comply with the complex rules and regulations for both domestic and international transport of Dangerous Goods. From that vision, two products were created: Hazmat (carrier and freight forwarder documentation and package check system) and Shiphazmat (documentation compliance product) for air transportation. In addition, the Bureau also launched a rigorous Dangerous Goods training program that made it easy to understand the Dangerous Goods regulations that were in place.
The Bureau also provided packing, labeling and documentation services for shippers in the Northeast corridor of the United States. This entity was known as H.M.C. (Hazardous Materials Consultants). In 1988, the company ended the packing entity and created a United Nations Dangerous Goods packaging supply company called DG supplies and moved the Bureau of Dangerous Goods to a larger central New Jersey location to support the growing demand for UN Dangerous Goods packaging and labeling to the Dangerous Goods industry.
In 1998, Michael Bowen joined the company and headed up DG Supplies' efforts to help the growing, diverse industry customer base solve the challenging aspects of figuring out the correct United Nations packaging necessary to comply with the strict rules and regulations. With Russ at the helm of the Bureau of Dangerous Goods and Michael at the helm of DG supplies and backed by a team of dedicated professionals, the two companies were strongly outpacing the competition.
In 2007, Michael set out to Colorado to expand the company’s operations to the West Coast. He successfully launched Hazmat University which took all of the Bureau of Dangerous Goods' rigorous training programs and put them on an easy-to-use, intuitive online learning and training platform. This online learning platform quickly became popular in the industry and set the standard for online training. In addition, Russ continued to refine and improve the capabilities of BDG compliance software applications Hazmat.Net and Shiphazmat, and these two products continued serving the Dangerous Goods industry.
In 2011, Russ was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma (a very treatable cancer) and Michael decided to move his family back to New Jersey to help care for Dad and to ensure the companies stayed on track for continued growth. As Russ underwent treatment, Michael took on all aspects of leadership for both companies and traveled extensively throughout the United States providing training services to the vast majority of our customers.
After many months of treatment, Russ’s cancer took a turn for the worse. He passed away in the summer of 2012. This was a devastating loss, but at the same time, a great opportunity to build on the solid foundation that Russ had laid for the company. Michael and the Bureau of Dangerous Goods team continued to improve the products of both companies and continued to meet the growing demands of the Dangerous Goods industry by listening to our customers and incorporating industry best practices and strict regulatory requirements into our programs and services.
In 2014, Michael sold DG Supplies to one of the top producers of packaging in the United States, Inmark, Inc. from Atlanta, Georgia. This insured that DG Supplies would be able to continue to meet the growing demands from the customers in the supply business.