Shipping of Dangerous Goods

Before setting sail, dangerous cargo shipments should be carefully and fully analyzed. Here, we explain the rules and regulations for transporting dangerous products and how your company can avoid paying demurrage and detention costs. The dangerous goods in transport logistics are now made easy!

The aftermath of the ship X-Press Pearl in Sri Lanka in 2021 serves as a reminder of the significance of shipping hazardous commodities safely. When the ship sank, the load of oil and nitric acid it was carrying caused an environmental crisis in Sri Lanka.

This big issue, along with many others, serves as a reminder of the value of safety when handling dangerous items and other materials. Hazardous goods shipping is highly specialized and subject to strict rules. Proper documents, skilled experts, and specialized containers are in demand here in transport logistics.

You can grab the right container if you are already aware of the rules. There are many facilities to find the container your business perfectly needs. You will find bargains and offers from licensed dealers and lessors. You can go for the offer that best meets your demands since these costs are changeable in society.

What Products are Dangerous?

During transport logistics, chemicals or objects that endanger safety, property, the environment, or health are considered dangerous goods. They must be maintained with the utmost care from the beginning to the end of the shipping process.

Hazardous items might be gaseous, solid, or liquid in nature. They may include destructive substances as well as consumables like scents. A tank container is used to transport many hazardous materials. Because tank containers may be stacked, they support bulk transportation and provide transportation safety. For a better understanding of how dangerous products are transported, let’s now check the various classifications of dangerous goods.

Different Categories of Hazardous Items for Shipment

Based on the risk they present, the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Items divides dangerous items into nine classifications.

Explosives, Class 1
Explosives, as their name suggests, are substances that, as a result of a chemical reaction, can easily conflagrate or detonate. There are six other classifications within these.

  • Division 1.1
  • Materials that pose a risk of mass explosion.

  • Division 1.2
  • Articles or substances that pose a projection risk but not an explosion risk.

  • Division 1.3
  • Items or substances that offer a fire risk as well as a slight explosion risk, a slight projection risk, or both.

  • Division 1.4
  • Articles or substances that present just a minor risk of ignition but no considerable risk overall.

  • Division 1.5
  • Extremely delicate compounds that pose a risk of large-scale explosion.

  • Division 1.6
  • Extremely sensitive items that don’t pose a threat of a large-scale explosion. Gunpowder, flares, and fireworks are a few examples of explosives.

Gases, Class 2
Gases that endanger human or environmental safety fall into this category. Gases can be mixed with other gases, refrigerated, dissolved, liquefied, or compressed. There are three smaller parts to this class as well.

  • Division 2.1: Flammable gases
  • Division 2.2: Non-flammable, non-toxic gases
  • Division 2.3: Toxic gases

Gases include chlorine, oxygen, helium, and others.

Flammable Liquids, Class 3
It is a liquid, a mixture of liquids, or a liquid containing solids that has an extremely low ignition temperature. This indicates that certain liquids simply ignite. Due to their high volatility and combustibility, they are exceedingly hazardous to transport and pose risks in transport logistics. Examples include gas oil, acetone, and kerosene.

Flammable Solids, Class 4
There are flammable solids that are simply ignited, just as there are flammable liquids. Here are the three sub-categories:

  • Division 4.1: Flammable Solids
  • Division 4.2: Spontaneously combustible substances
  • Division 4.3: Dangerous when wet

Examples include activated carbon, sodium batteries, and metal powders.

Oxidizing Compounds, Class 5
Oxidizing agents and organic peroxides fall into this fifth category. These items have a high oxygen concentration, which makes them very reactive. They are easily flammable. Lead nitrate and hydrogen peroxide are two examples.

Toxic and Infectious Substances, Class 6
Toxic substances, as their name implies, are a threat to people if ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with skin. Infectious agents can make people or animals sick. Examples include biological cultures, dyes, and medical waste.

Radioactive Substance, class 7
In the worst-case scenario, they destabilize and pose a serious threat. These substances can be extremely dangerous to both people and the environment. Yellowcake and medicinal isotopes are two examples.

Corrosives, Class 8
Upon contact, corrosive items cause the degradation or dissolution of other materials. They are very reactive and have a beneficial chemical outcome. Paints, batteries, and chlorides are a few examples.

Other Products, Class 9
All other hazardous substances that are not categorized above are included in the ninth category. For instance, here you can consider motor engines, marine pollutants, dry ice, etc.

Packaging Specifications for Shipping Dangerous Items

The packaging specifications for shipping dangerous items are listed below.

  • UN Number
  • This code has four digits and is followed by the letters UN. A single substance or a collection of compounds gets the corresponding number. Acetone, for instance, has the UN number 1090.

  • PSN
  • The term denotes a legitimate shipping name. The cargo is perfectly described by this word. For instance, LIGHTERS is the PSN for lighters.

  • Packing Group
  • Three packing groups, I, II, and III, are recognized by the UN. The groups say how much packing is essential for a specific good. Additionally, accurate documentation is needed for the shipping of dangerous items.

Documentation for Risky Products’ Shipment

Here are some of the essential documents you need if your company wants to transport hazardous items as part of transport logistics and experience instant customs clearance services at ports.

  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • The material safety data sheet (MSDS) gives explanations of possible risks and safe handling procedures for risky commodities while they are being transported.

  • Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD)
  • The classification of dangerous items is stated in a dangerous goods declaration (DGD). Additionally, it has labels, identification markers, and distinctive packaging statements.

  • Dangerous Goods Manifest (DGM)
  • The dangerous goods manifest’s (DGM) key plan is to compile all pertinent data on the dangerous commodities into a single document.

  • Transport Emergency Card (TREM card)
  • The transportation of risky products is explained on a TREM card. This card is carried by employees who handle hazardous materials.

  • Container Packing Certificate
  • This document guarantees that the packing of dangerous materials complies with the mentioned guidelines and highlights the container’s identifying number.

Now, let’s check out a step-by-step instruction manual for shipping hazardous materials.

A Guide to the Shipment of Dangerous Items

Here are six steps for shipping hazardous materials securely.

  • Understand the Rules
  • When shipping dangerous products, it’s vital that you are aware of and loyal to the rules. Depending on the risky items your company is exporting, there may be different rules and regulations. This can include separate guidelines for documents, product labeling, marking, and packaging.

  • Make Sure You’re Trained
  • The people involved in the shipping of hazardous products must be trained. This is to promise that they are competent to handle hazardous items properly. Even better, you can pay a seasoned business or individual to arrange the shipment on your company’s behalf.

  • Sort Out the Hazardous Cargo’s Classification
  • It is the consignor’s or shipper’s duty to perfectly classify and mark the dangerous materials. By doing this, it is made sure that everybody handling the cargo is informed of the dangers.

  • Correctly Package Your Shipment
  • Transport logistics of risky products in a safe way depends on proper packing. In most situations, you’ll also need special supplies like poly bags, zip ties, and tape to safely pack the risky goods, so your company should avoid stuffing containers. Additionally, containers must bear the United Nations specified markings.

  • Use the proper labels and paperwork
  • Your company should accurately mark any hazardous items in the same way that you pack your shipment. Make sure that used boxes have all previous labels removed. Moreover, keep a copy of all important documents.

    These dangerous items will also be a part of AOG logistics, trade compliance services, quality-assured package delivery, airside transportation service, warehousing services, cold chain solutions, perfect forward stocking, etc.

  • Choose the proper container
  • A regular container cannot be used to transport dangerous products; instead, a specific container must be used. You must carefully choose from a variety of intermodal tank types or ISO tank containers. It’s easy to do a proper search for the kind of container your company needs to buy or lease.

Points to Remember
You already know that exporting risky items calls for specialized handling and transportation services including customs clearance services. This implies that, in addition to the usual container fees, extra costs will be applied to your shipping costs. Port storage fees and D&D fees are a few of these.

If you’ve worked in the shipping sector for a while, you’re probably already aware of how quickly demurrage and detention fees can mount up. If you are unfamiliar with D&D, you must look at the COC containers. These containers are, by definition, owned by carriers.

The shipping companies provide their clients with these containers to convey their items from door to door. Within a certain period of time known as “free days,” shippers are required to return these containers to the shipping lines. The number of “free days” explains how long the shipper may use the containers without paying. These follow the container’s discharge from the vessel by 3–4 days, on average.

Your company needs to pay demurrage and detention, which is a late cost if you fail to return the containers. Despite the fact that both of these phrases have similar pronunciations, they differ slightly. If the container is delayed inside the port, you are responsible for the demurrage fee. This may be a result of a labor shortage or congestion in the port. On the other hand, you pay a detention fee for using containers outside of the port after they were supposed to. Even something as minor as unfavorable weather may be to blame for this.

The majority of the time, your company has no control over the problems that cause delays. Instead, you can make the right container selection. The simplest way to avoid paying D&D is to choose a SOC container. These containers belong to the shippers. SOCs may be used for one-way transport with a return to your partner’s depot at the final port of call. Most of the time, there are no per diem fees involved at all. This is so that this agreement can also benefit the shippers. They are capable of moving their containers without paying anything. It will definitely benefit both parties. So, you must be aware of the proper shipment of dangerous materials in transport logistics.

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