Sometimes, it becomes necessary to ship commercial or personal goods that have the potential to endanger individuals, equipment, or the environment. The list of specific substances and materials is expansive, but North American and International regulatory agencies have categorized them into nine major classes:
Class 1 – Explosives
Class 2 – Gas
Class 3 – Flammable liquids
Class 4 – Flammable solids
Class 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
Class 6 – Poisonous (toxic) and infectious substances
Class 7 – Radioactive materials
Class 8 – Corrosives
Class 9 – Miscellaneous articles and substances

There are additional classifications for ocean freight for limited quantity substances and marine pollutants.

Thing to Consider When Shipping Dangerous Goods

While many materials classified as dangerous can be shipped domestically and internationally, it is important to contact your shipping company as soon as possible. Shipping companies are very familiar with the many additional laws and regulations that govern the transport of these types of goods, and planning is necessary to ensure that they are shipped safely and in the time expected.

For example, there is significantly more documentation required to process dangerous goods shipments, packaging and handling must be carefully performed to the exact standards of laws and regulations, and in some cases, certified dangerous goods handlers need to be made available at certain points in the shipping process.

Shipping companies will also need to determine which carrier types will allow the goods you are seeking to transport. For instance, the IATA, which regulates dangerous goods handling for air travel, prohibits some materials from being handled by air, prohibits others of being tendered by cargo, and restricts other substances to small amounts that can be transported as carry-on. Additionally, the shipping company will want to discuss other risks and limitations.

Dangerous cargo being transported by ocean freight may require above-deck passage, posing slightly greater risk to its contents, and consolidating less than container load shipments may become more difficult or prohibitive. And if you’re shipping multiple types of hazardous materials, there may be a need to segregate the shipment or plan for specialized containerizing requirements.

Handling the Complexities of Your Cargo

Once you’ve discussed the nature of your shipment, you’re putting it into good hands with World Cargo. We know the rules when it comes to shipping hazardous materials by plane, train, ship or truck. World Cargo will make sure that your shipments meet the requirements of domestic carrier routes as well as the government regulations for the destination country.

As part of the documentation process, your shipment must be clearly identified and labeled at all points throughout the shipping process. World Cargo abides by the governing laws and regulations of IATA, IMDG, Transport Canada, the Canadian Transportation Commission and other agencies responsible for ensuring that your goods are delivered with the efficiency you expect, and with the safety of everyone throughout the shipping process top-of-mind.

Remember, the key is to clearly communicate and disclose the items that you intend to ship! Did you know lithium-ion batteries are prohibited on commercial and personal aircraft without proper documentation? This and many other seemingly common items may have restrictions that could result in delays or even forfeiture of property. When you work with World Cargo, we’ll help you identify any special handling needs and find the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective carriers to get your personal items and commercial goods where they need to be.

World Cargo is Here to Help

Do you have questions about contents you need to ship? Feel free to contact us at 877-232-0204 or using our online form. Or, send us your quote request now! World Cargo is an experienced freight forwarder providing a wide range of domestic and international freight and shipping services.