Dangerous goods or DG shipping entails compliance with certain rules and regulations. This is because DG shipping is not like the usual transportation of products. These dangerous goods must be handled with the utmost care at all times so as not to endanger the lives of people that it comes in contact with.
By its very definition according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), dangerous good are “articles or substances which are capable of posing a risk to health, safety, property or the environment, and which are shown in the list of dangerous goods in these Regulations or which are classified according to these Regulations.”
Moreover, the IATA further describes DG as “items that may endanger the safety of an aircraft or persons onboard the aircraft…[and] are also known as restricted articles, hazardous materials, and dangerous cargo. Many common items found in your household can be considered dangerous goods for the purpose of air transport.”
Dangerous Goods Classification
Dangerous goods are classified into different classes according to their chemical and physical properties. The following are the different classes:
Class 1: Explosives (Fireworks, airbag inflators, ammunition, etc.)
Class 2: Gases (Aerosols, fire extinguishers, propane cylinders, etc.)
Class 3: Flammable liquids (Paints, lacquers, alcohols, etc.)
Class 4: Flammable solids, spontaneous combustibles, and “dangerous when wet” materials (Matches, carbon, sodium batteries, etc.)
Class 5: Oxidizers (Hydrogen peroxide, ammonium nitrate fertilizers, pool chlorine, etc.)
Class 6: Toxic or infectious substances (Medical waste, dyes, pesticides, etc.)
Class 7: Radioactive materials (Density gauges, medical treatment products, uranium, etc.)
Class 8: Corrosives (Acids/acid solutions, batteries, iodine, etc.)
Class 9: Miscellaneous (Dry ice, internal combustion engines, first aid kits, etc.)
Dangerous Goods Packaging
There are three packing groups corresponding to the level of danger involved:
- Packing Group I – High Danger
- Packing Group II – Medium Danger
- Packing Group III – Minor Danger
Each of the packing group provides specifications for unit-size, quantitative limits, packaging closure instructions, acceptable packaging materials, single or combination-packaging limitations, and more.
Factors That Can Affect DG Shipping
There are lots of factors that can affect the transportation of dangerous goods. Some of these are the following:
- Handling procedures
Safe and proper handling of dangerous goods depends on the level of danger that they possess.
- Departure and Arrival Locations
Different countries mean different import laws. Thus, this affects how certain DG groups are shipped and handles all the way to its destination. This is to adhere to the rules and regulations set by a certain country or city.
- Cargo Requirements
Depending on the size and weight of the DG shipment, the mode of transportation may vary as well. Some shipments may be too big for air travel or too small for sea freight.
- Temperature Considerations
Some chemicals and products classified as dangerous goods are those that increase in risk level when exposed to different levels of temperature. Thus, careful planning and consideration are needed when shipping dangerous goods.