How to Ship Things: Best Practices for Dangerous Goods Shipping

how to ship hazardous goods dangerous goods shipping best practices

Hazmat shipping safety begins with learning about proper materials handling. 

Dangerous goods shipping can result in accidents or damage to people or property. In a worst-case scenario, for instance, an explosion occurred during the transport of hazardous goods and did damage to an entire city. 

You must label hazardous materials correctly. By doing so, you enable the proper authorities to handle emergencies effectively. 

A growing number of enterprises are moving hazardous materials across the nation. As this occurs, the safe transport of hazardous materials grows more relevant. 


Barriers to Hazardous Materials Shipping 

Running an effective shipping operation takes a lot of work. This circumstance applies even more so with hazardous materials

Often, there are misunderstandings regarding hazardous material regulations. Because of this, you must train your staff members about the proper shipping procedures for dangerous goods. 

Technology is continually evolving. Devices are growing more powerful and more compact. 

Many of these devices use lithium-ion batteries. As such, there’s a high demand to move this product across the nation.

In the UK, companies cannot ship dangerous goods without prior written authorization. There, many companies are turning down hazardous shipments. They deem the risk unacceptable. 

All parties in the logistics chain that must handle hazardous materials must have an awareness of the threat. Enterprises that qualify to work with hazardous materials invest time and money in training workers.  

It’s this training that enables personnel to handle hazmat goods properly. Wherever you ship hazardous material, you must label items as prescribed. 

When shipping hazardous material, the drivers aren’t the only ones responsible for safe transport. Company executives are also liable regarding the movement of hazardous goods.


Dangerous Goods Shipping: Getting It Right 

In the US, you should take a look at the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before moving hazardous materials. If you find the item on the sheet, assess your employees’ hazmat training. This act is the best course of action, according to a report issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Training should include security awareness and safety education. The training must apply to employees’ roles as it pertains to shipping dangerous goods. For instance, there are certain best practices for the handling of ethanol fuel

Only qualified personnel should research the Hazardous Materials Table. Trained employees can determine authorized shipping quantities accurately. They can ensure that your organization complies with regulations and meets its shipping objectives. 

If the shipment needs special packaging, only a trained employee should do it. They must also gather the appropriate shipping signage and label the package appropriately. Proper package labeling includes the: 

  • Business shipping name
  • UN number
  • Shipper or consignee’s name
  • Consignee’s address 

Your employee must place this information near the hazardous materials warning label. 

Combination packages need special handling. Also, the shipping label must appear prominently to anyone who handles the package. 

Once you shipped the hazardous good, you still have work to do. Your company must keep a record of the Shipper’s Declaration for two years. 

You must create a system for managing your Shipper’s Declarations. You must collect, organize and safeguard them to remain in compliance with regulations. 


Overcoming Hazmat Shipping Obstacles

When it comes to shipping hazardous materials, you want to emphasize quality over quantity. Nothing is more important than protecting package handlers and other people from harm. 

If you’re shipping solid hazardous materials, don’t allow your employees to package them inappropriately. If you do, you may experience delays with your shipment. 

Depending on what you’re shipping, the law may subject you to different rules. You must understand these rules before shipping your goods. 

Shipping hazardous materials is time and resource-intensive. As a result, some companies may not want to work with hazardous materials. Still, they may need to move them. 

A workaround is to ask a courier to split the shipment. This workaround can save you a lot of time. 

By dividing the load, you may avoid having to deal with hazardous materials documentation. You can also avoid the work involved in preparing hazardous materials for shipment. 

This method, however, also has drawbacks. For example, a courier may place a limit on how many hazardous materials you can ship in a day. 

Resultantly, this action will force you to split your shipment over multiple days. This circumstance can present another logistical challenge. 


Choosing a Hazmat 3PL 

You can benefit by partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) service experienced with handling hazmat shipping. They can do it for less than what it will cost you to do it internally. 

When searching for a 3PL partner, make sure that they are fully certified to store and transport the class of hazardous materials that your business handles. Also, make sure that they have a dedicated facility for storing hazardous materials. Ideally, the facility is away from other products. 

Also, ask for proof that your potential 3PL partner complies with Dangerous Goods Regulations. Top companies also abide by the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. 


Move Your Goods Safely 

A significant number of accidents during dangerous goods shipping involves companies that do not comply with safety regulations. 

Sometimes the incidents in dangerous goods shipping are minor. Other times, however, shipping glitches can be mortally serious. 

Faulty equipment, improperly stored hazardous materials and failure to maintain safety equipment can all lead to hazmat tragedies. Make sure that you partner with a 3PL company with a long history of safe shipping. 

Nothing is easy in business, especially dangerous goods shipping. Resultantly, you need to learn everything you can about the latest trends and developments in your field. Bookmark MyFrugalBusiness.com and visit regularly to learn the latest tips and trends to help you succeed in shipping and business overall.

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