How To Ship Dangerous Goods & Hazardous Materials Safely

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When it comes to shipping and transportation, flammable, harmful and even radioactive materials are common items that are manually handled almost daily. However, it’s extremely important to remember that these dangerous goods need to be transported correctly to not only ensure the protection of your team, but also that these materials are shipped to the destination countries safely.  

Thankfully, while there are a variety of toxic materials that are shipped internationally for different purposes, there are also important regulations in place to ensure its safe transportation. That’s why, our team at DHL Express has put together a guide to the kinds of hazardous materials that are commonly transported, and the regulations you should follow when shipping these dangerous goods. 

9 Classes of Hazardous/Dangerous Materials

Firstly, it’s important to learn about the various kinds of hazardous items, determined by classes. This helps you to plan and package your dangerous goods safely. 

1. Explosives

Explosives are able to combust immediately when exposed to a certain kind of chemical reaction. This makes them one of the most dangerous goods that must be handled with care, as it can lead to hazardous by-products or waste such as gas and smoke. 

2. Gases

Compressed, liquified and even dissolved gases are known to cause various kinds of consequences when mishandled, such as explosions or the spread of toxic fumes. Additionally, these gases can be highly flammable, and can make any fires or explosions worse.  

3. Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids are liquids that are known to easily combust, especially in common surrounding temperatures (with varying definitions on surrounding temperature based on the shipping country). Their highly combustible nature makes it imperative to subdue before transporting. 

4. Flammable Solids; Spontaneous Combustibles; “Dangerous When Wet” Materials

These materials are defined as those that are easily combustible, or that are prone to spontaneous combustion in normal transporting settings. Similar to flammable liquids, they’re also highly combustible and therefore dangerous to those moving them. 

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5. Oxidisers, Organic Peroxides 

While not dangerous on their own, they can make existing fires or explosions worse by yielding oxygen from the surroundings. As such, they must be handled with care to prevent unnecessary issues arising. 

6. Toxic/Infectious Substances 

Toxic substances are those that would make humans sick if ingested or touched, while infectious substances are goods that contain harmful pathogens. As they can make most living creatures very ill, they must be handled with care.  

7. Radioactive Materials 

These items contain radionuclide: an atom with an unstable nucleus. Not only does it make these goods unstable in general, but it can also result in exposing workers to radiation if not transported securely.

8. Corrosives 

Corrosives are goods that disintegrate any item or thing that it touches. As it has the capacity to permanently scar both living creatures and important materials, they must be transported with caution.

9. Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

These goods are the array of products that either fall into several pre-existing categories, or none of them at all. Due to this wide array, they pose a significant amount of threats to human life and the safety of the other goods being transported, making necessary safety precautions important. 

What Are the Regulations You Should Follow?

DHL Express understands the importance of ensuring the necessary precautions are taken to ensure the safe transportation of dangerous and hazardous goods. 

While these goods can pose a threat for almost everyone, different countries have differing regulations put in place, when it comes to the safe handling and transportation of dangerous goods, especially at customs clearance. As such, it’s best for you to contact your local maritime, port, or local/international transportation authorities for a detailed breakdown of the relevant regulations. 

It’s important to follow the regulations put in place by both your country of shipment as well as destination country, when it comes to handling and transporting dangerous goods. In doing so, you ensure the safety of your team, and can add another successful shipment to your business’ resume. Set up an account with DHL Express today so you can make the best of our services when transporting hazardous materials. 

There are so many benefits to consider when you engage DHL Express to transport dangerous goods. Learn how you can make the process safer by contacting us today!