Shipping Dangerous Goods the Right Way

There are a variety of products that need shipping that the Federal Aviation Administration and US Department of Transportation deem dangerous. Before you can ship these goods either by truck, ship or air, you need to follow certain shipping protocols. Following their standards keeps your company in compliance and saves it from unnecessary headaches, delivery hiccups and potentially fines.

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Item Determination

Prior to shipping, you should determine whether or not the item you are shipping is, in fact, a dangerous good. The material safety data sheet can provide this information. Those items listed as hazardous or those that may cause property, health or safety to be put at unreasonable risk are subject to dangerous goods packaging. Once you know the item is hazardous, you can then start the shipping process.

Staff Training

In order to properly handle hazardous material, the staff handling the items must be trained hazmat employees. These employees understand how to properly handle, transport, package and prepare dangerous goods. They have an understanding of the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Item Preparation

The trained employee finds the item in the Hazardous Materials Table. The Table lists all the required labeling, packaging and shippable quantities of each material. Some items require UN-Specification packaging based on their level of danger. Have all the necessary packaging materials available to prepare the item for shipping. This may include zip ties, tape, poly bags, boxes, labels, etc. Each package needs to include the UN number, labels, consignees or shipper name, markings, Proper Shipping Name, address of shipper and shippers declaration/shipping paper. Some items have instructions for inner and outer packaging instructions.

Shipping Out

Finally, you are ready to ship the item. This process must happen for each dangerous good you ship. There may be slightly different regulations for those traveling by truck vs those by air or those by cargo ship. The receiving destination especially a foreign country may have additional packaging requirements. Be sure to check with the receiving company/country prior to shipping.