Hazardous Shipments: What You Need to Know

What are hazardous shipments?

Hazard shipments are shipments of solid, liquid or gas materials that are considered harmful. If shipped, stored or handled improperly, these materials can harm people, property, animals or the environment.

Before we get any further, lets cover some basics on shipping hazardous:

  1. It will cost more than non-hazardous shipments.
  2. There are specific regulations to follow, and specific training is needed.
  3. There are penalties to pay for not following the regulations.

Alright, now that we got that out of the way, lets discuss what the different hazards are, the regulations around hazardous shipments, and how to ship hazardous products.

What classifies a product as a hazardous shipment?

A product is classified as a hazardous shipment, if it contains hazardous ingredients that are over the limits of certain government regulations. To clarify, if a product contains a hazardous ingredient, but the level of that ingredient within the product is not high enough to present a hazard, then that product would not be considered hazardous.

What are the government regulations around hazardous shipments?

The Department of Transport (DOT) has divided hazardous materials into nine different classes, which you can read more about in our 9 Classes of HAZMAT guide. As well the nine HAZMAT classes, here are some more regulations you should be aware of for shipping hazardous:

  • 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49) – this is also issued by the DOT, and it covers the key protocols for preparing, shipping and handling dangerous goods.
  • IMDG Code (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) – this is widely accepted internationally, and is mostly used for international shipments, covering safe shipments by water or vessel.
  • ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) – they standardize safety procedures for shipping dangerous goods by air.
  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) – they have their own set of guidelines, which covers preparing, handling and acceptance of dangerous goods shipments by air.

Not only are there government regulations for shipping hazardous materials, but each shipping company has their own set of rules for shipping hazardous. The four major carriers in the US (FedEx, USPS, UPS & DHL) all offer hazardous shipping, although some carriers are more regulated than others. Regardless of the product you’re shipping, the shipping company you’re using, the shipping method you’re using, or whether you’re shipping domestically or internationally, always check their websites for up-to-date regulations.

It may seem like a lot of hassle to ship hazardous materials, but it’s worth doing your research first, as there are major penalties for noncompliance! There are specific fines for noncompliance which can cost up to six-figure numbers, and you could also be banned from shipping hazardous materials.

Ok, so we’ve covered what hazardous shipments are, and the regulations around shipping hazardous materials…what steps actually need to be taken to prepare the shipment?

The shipper is responsible for ensuring the proper classification of the materials, and the correct packaging and hazard communications. Check out these guidelines for shipping via ground, and these ones for shipping via air.

Are there any products that Applichem sells that need to be shipped hazardous?

Yes, any solvented, hazardous or flammable products in larger quantities need to be shipped as hazardous.

Are there any questions you have regarding hazardous shipments or the costs with them? Let us know, as your adhesive & tape ally, we would love to answer your questions or point you in the right direction to ensure peace of mind when shipping hazardous!

Check out some of these pages to see how your allies at Applichem can help you:

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