As a global delivery specialist, we know the challenges that come from shipping goods and other freight across the globe. One of the many challenges is the handling of what is classified as dangerous goods and how they are packaged, labelled and handled.

Shipping and Dangerous Goods

In the shipping world it may be a bit surprising to learn exactly what counts as a ‘dangerous good’. Defining what dangerous goods are and then understanding how this applies to your business, your products and your shipping methods is an important first step to successful shipping. Dangerous goods are not limited to things like chemicals and firearms, the definition in the shipping world for a dangerous good is anything that, if not handled properly, could cause damage or harm to those handling it through the shipping process.

International Air Freight Rules

For this reason most items classified as ‘dangerous goods’ are listed buy the IATA (International Air Transport Association) but some couriers have additional rules which is why using a delivery specialist like Equator for all your shipping needs is the easiest and most efficient way to ship goods around the world. As these rules change and adapt to new products and safety advice regularly, using an experienced delivery specialist is essential.

Here are our top tips on shipping dangerous goods:

Identify any Hazardous Goods

This may not be as obvious as you think as some items are difficult to classify as they may not be dangerous by themselves but may include a hazardous component that needs to be shipped safely. Correct identification and then classification of what you are shipping is the first step to sending dangerous goods successfully.

Check for Batteries

Lithium ion batteries would not seem like a dangerous item, but for the shipping industry all these types of batteries are. Lithium ion batteries are commonly used in laptop computers and mobile phones. As they are very common, especially for ecommerce sellers the right labelling is required to ensure safe shipment of these batteries.

Shipping Options Restricted

Due to IATA regulations some dangerous goods are only able to be carried on land as they are not allowed on aeroplanes as they pose too much risk. For this reason, it is good to understand that your shipping options will be more limited, may take longer (as they have to travel on the ground) and that express delivery may not be available. Some countries have a ban on certain items altogether, so you need to know what and to where you are sending before you choose your shipping options.

Packaging is Important

When you package your goods, one of the main considerations is that the product inside is not damaged. When you are packaging dangerous goods you also need to ensure that it is safe to handle on the outside so you do not put anyone at risk by shipping it in unsafe or unsecured packaging.

Dangerous Goods Documentation

Ensuring you have the right documentation when shipping dangerous goods is essential. Having the right paperwork is also the key to having a smooth shipping process, with no hiccups or holdups along the way.

All dangerous goods items must be declared as a ‘dangerous good’ with additional information on some expanded forms with the inclusion of telephone numbers in some circumstances. You also may have to include hazard stickers and other marking or documents depending on what and where you are sending the items. Errors in documentation can lead to huge delays at customs and delay your shipments significantly.

There are many things to consider when shipping dangerous goods, but it should not be something you need to avoid. Simply choose an experienced global delivery specialist like Equator to get your goods where they need to be and handle any issues relating to dangerous goods.