Essentials of Dangerous Goods Shipping

Dangerous goods or DG shipping should not be taken lightly. May it be a logistics or manufacturing business, it is very important to handle DG shipping very carefully and meticulously.

For a refresher, here are the essentials of dangerous goods shipping.

Know the dangerous goods classes by heart

It is very important to familiarize and know the dangerous goods classes by heart. This dangerous goods classification system is the backbone of DG shipping. It basically defines how dangerous goods should be packed and transported.

This is the 9 classes of dangerous goods:

  1. Class 1: Explosives
  • Division 1.1: substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard.
  • Division 1.2: Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard
  • Division 1.3: Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard
  • Division 1.4: Substances and articles which present no significant hazard
  • Division 1.5: Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard
  • Division 1.6: Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard
  1. Class 2: Gases
  • Division 2.1: Flammable gases
  • Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
  • Division 2.3: Toxic gases
  1. Class 3: Flammable liquids
  2. Class 4: Flammable solids; substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances which, on contact with water, emit flammable gases
  • Division 4.1: Flammable solids, self-reactive substances, and solid desensitized explosives
  • Division 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion
  • Division 4.3: Substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases
  1. Class 5: Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
  • Division 5.1: Oxidizing substances
  • Division 5.2: Organic peroxides
  1. Class 6: Toxic and infectious substances
  • Division 6.1: Toxic substances
  • Division 6.2: Infectious substances
  1. Class 7: Radioactive material
  2. Class 8: Corrosive substances
  3. Class 9: Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

Because of these classes, DG shipping requires extensive paperwork so the right and proper information about the dangerous goods being transported is passed on. Transport documents for Dangerous Goods include a number of things:

  • Written instructions on how to deal with the goods in an emergency situation need to be carried and easily accessible in the driver’s cabin.
  • A license or permit for Dangerous Goods training must be present upon request from officials.
  • Declaration form prepared by the consignor, which includes information on the consignor’s name and address, the name and address of the consignee, descriptions of each of the types of Dangerous Goods, along with their quantity, classification, and packaging; and emergency contact information. Requirements for the declaration depends on the mode of transport and which country/countries the shipment is transported in/through on its way to the final destination.

Invest in your employees

Employees are the key to a successful operation within the company. That is why it is very important to invest in proper training and equipment for employees who handle and work with dangerous goods.

Allow every staff to master the art of shipping dangerous goods. Guide them to be experts in this field so they can do their job properly but most of all, so they will learn to protect themselves in case of emergencies and other unfortunate events.

Appropriate packaging is very important

Dangerous goods packaging is as important as knowing the dangerous goods classification. Dangerous goods must be packed properly and appropriately with the right materials so as to lessen its danger risks to the people and the environment.



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