Shipping hazardous materials is a difficult affair, which must be compliant with a lot of state and international regulations. This process requires keen attention from expert shipping personals and administrative professionals to ensure compliance. Sometimes even the best efforts may fail just as the shipments may get refused on being in compliance with the exact requirements as per the regulations.
The major bodies putting forth the regulations for hazmat shipping are;
- The US Department of Transportation (DOT)
- International Air Transport Association (IATA)
- International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMCO)
There are many types of cargo which are subjected to these restrictions and special car needed to be taken in order to get these done in a perfect manner. You can read the details of the restricted materials from these regulations lists, which also defines the restricted articles regarding those which cannot be carried at all, the quantity allowed for various hazardous materials, documentation specifications, and also the packaging restrictions.
Categorization of hazardous materials
The list of hazardous materials include liquid, solid, or gaseous inflammable materials, poisons, corrosives, radioactive materials, magnetic materials, irritating or noxious substances, and those articles which can possess inherent qualities to dangerously affect human health.
There are specific regulations related to hazardous materials packing and the usage of different types of vehicles and carriers to be used to transport these. While hazardous materials are transported through ground, air, or ocean, proper shipping methods and shipping codes must be used rather than the trade names.
Hazardous material also will not be accepted by those carriers who are not licensed to handle those. The shipping department also must be qualified to answer any questions related to hazardous material shipping in order to handle these goods. Moreover, the shipment service provider also needs to use the authentic shipping supplies for hazmat packing.
Proper training to the professionals handling hazardous materials is also important as per the federal requirement of DOT and FAA etc. Anyone who prepares and handles hazardous materials should get this training beforehand to avoid any chance of an accident. Not just the initial training, but frequent re-training is also needed from time to time to keep them updated and oriented about the latest changes in the methods and regulations.
Even the licensed carriers may refuse accepting the packages if the packaging, documentation, and labeling compliance is not exact. Even if the shipment is accepted by the agent, it is not the surety that it will be transported if the compliance is not met.
Boxes used for shipping hazmat
Boxes are considered to be an integral part of the UN 4G packaging even if those don’t directly offer protection. The boxes may contain well-set containers like jugs, plastic bottles, metal containers, or foam packs. The UN4G boxes will have special markings and there are also combination of packages and boxes used for transportation. What used most commonly for hazmat packaging are the foam packs, F-style foam packs, 5 gallon corrugated shippers, F-style corrugated packs, intermediate bulk containers (IBC) consisting of box, lid, straps, poly bag, and buckles etc.
You also need to be updated about the changes in the hazmat packaging rules from time to time in order to ensure compliance and safety at the best. There are options to get updated information through the shipping carriers, suppliers of hazmat shipping supply vendors, and the industry organizations.