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Different types of cargo require different approaches to packaging, documentation, and transportation. Nowhere else is this as critical as it is when you are shipping hazardous materials.
Best Practices for Shipping Dangerous Goods
Knowing your responsibilities and how they pertain to federal and international shipping laws will allow you to avoid unnecessary and costly delays. Here are our top tips to help you navigate the hazardous materials shipping process:
- Understand the Nature of the Goods You Are Shipping
Many everyday items are considered dangerous. From paint to batteries, and even some cosmetics, each item must be handled with great care. There are specific packaging, labeling, and carriage regulations for every type of dangerous commodity, and you have a legal responsibility to comply – or face potentially costly consequences.
- Follow Regulations Closely
Failure to comply with hazardous materials shipping regulations can result in loss and could interrupt your business operations entirely. To ensure you are fully compliant, partnering with an expert is strongly recommended. There are different requirements for each mode of transportation, so it’s best not to leave anything to chance.
- Understand Packaging and Labeling Requirements
Make sure the packaging is suitable for the dangerous goods you are shipping. Containers should be air and water-tight and free of any labels leftover from previous shipments. Inner and outer packaging must be labeled appropriately, and the outer packaging must include the IMDG or UN code to indicate the level of threat from the contents.
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- Follow All Packing Procedures To The Letter
Packing hazardous materials is a little more complicated than it is for other types of goods. The right packaging materials are essential, but it is also important for the items to be packed so that they are immediately accessible in case of an emergency.
- Use The Right Documentation
There are multiple classes of hazardous goods, each with their own documentation requirements. Failure to provide accurate documentation comes with severe penalties, both legal and financial. Repeat offenders risk business continuity, so it is critical to ensure every box is checked and done so correctly.
- Ensure Your Team is Well-Versed
Training is vital so that each link in the chain understands and respects the processes involved in the transportation of dangerous materials. From pickers to packers to cargo handlers, equipment operators, drivers, and back-office staff should be trained, not just in their own duties, but so that they understand what others are responsible for as well.
Tip Number 7: Work With an Experienced Logistics Services Provider
Shipping hazardous materials is neither easy nor straightforward. Strict rules must be followed, and a high level of advance planning is required. To ensure your hazardous shipments get through without delay, it is always best to work with a logistics services partner and dangerous goods specialist who knows the process.
DTS World Cargo Services is your trusted ally in supply chain optimization, helping you save time and money while delivering peace of mind. Reach out today to request a quote or to learn more about how we can help.