Shipping Dangerous Goods


Dangerous Goods

Shipping dangerous goods can be a complex and regulated process that requires careful attention to ensure the safety of both the goods being transported and the people involved. From identifying common dangerous goods to understanding the regulations, there are several important considerations to keep in mind when shipping these types of products. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of shipping dangerous goods and provide valuable information to help you navigate this challenging task.

Dangerous Goods Shipping Regulations

To ensure full compliance with the regulations for shipping dangerous goods, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the applicable requirements. This includes staying updated on any changes or updates to the regulations and regularly reviewing internal processes and procedures to guarantee ongoing compliance. Providing ongoing training and education to employees so that they are equipped with the knowledge needed to handle dangerous goods safely and in accordance with the regulations.

For example, electronics such as phones and laptops that contain lithium batteries can often be shipped, loose batteries cannot.

Shipping dangerous goods requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific regulations and requirements. By accurately identifying the most common dangerous goods, understanding the transportation regulations, following labelling and packaging requirements, and effectively monitoring and tracking shipments, you can navigate the process safely and efficiently.

Common Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods can include a wide range of materials, including batteries, chemicals, paints, corrosive materials and even alcohols. It is crucial to understand what substances are categorised as dangerous goods as each category has its own set of characteristics, handling and transportation protocols.

When booking a DG shipment through the FreightExchange platform, you can search for the UN Number or item description. This will allow you to determine the carriers who will ship your dangerous goods and any additional costs relating to the movement of your goods.

Overview of the Dangerous Goods Classifications

There are nine classes of dangerous goods as listed below.

Class 1: Explosives

This class includes items like:

  • Fireworks
  • Ammunition
  • Airbag inflators

Class 2: Gases

This class includes items like:

  • Aerosols
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Propane cylinders

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

This class includes items like:

  • Paints
  • Lacquers
  • Alcohols

Class 4: Flammable Solids, Spontaneous Combustibles

This class includes items like:

  • Matches
  • Carbon
  • Sodium batteries

Class 5: Oxidizers

This class includes items like:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ammonium nitrate fertilizers
  • Pool chlorine

Class 6: Toxic or Infectious Substances

This class includes items like:

  • Dyes
  • Pesticides

Class 7: Radioactive Materials

This class includes items like:

  • Density gauges
  • Medical treatment products

Class 8: Corrosives

This class includes items like:

  • Acid/acid solutions
  • Car batteries
  • Iodine

Class 9: Miscellaneous

This class includes items like:

  • Dry ice
  • Internal combustion engines
  • Electronics containing lithium batteries

For a full list of items and classes, refer to the United Nations Dangerous Goods List, which provides a comprehensive classification system for dangerous goods. The list includes detailed information about the different categories of dangerous goods, their specific hazards, and the proper handling and transportation requirements for each category.

Dangerous Goods Transportation Regulations

Transporting dangerous goods involves adhering to specific regulations and requirements to ensure the safety of everyone involved. These regulations are different for air, sea, or land transport.


When shipping dangerous goods by air, you must comply with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations. These regulations outline the necessary precautions and protocols for packaging, labelling, and documenting dangerous goods shipments.

Many parcels and packages travel by air domestically and internationally, so it’s essential that you familiarise yourself with the shipping requirements for your goods. It is even more important when shipping internationally, as you can face fines or other penalties for shipping improperly declared dangerous goods.


The International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code must be followed. This code provides guidelines for the safe handling, stowage, and transportation of dangerous goods on vessels.

The IMDG Code is a comprehensive set of regulations that covers various aspects of shipping dangerous goods by sea. It includes detailed instructions on the classification and identification of dangerous goods, as well as the packaging, marking, and labeling requirements. The code also provides guidance on the proper stowage and segregation of dangerous goods to prevent any potential hazards during the voyage. The IMDG Code provides specific guidelines on these requirements to ensure the safe transportation of dangerous goods.

Land Transport

Most countries have their own national regulations aligned with the United Nations recommendations for the transport of dangerous goods. Transporting dangerous goods by land complying with a set of regulations that are specific to each country.

These regulations are designed to ensure the safe transportation of dangerous goods on roads and railways. They cover various aspects, including the classification and identification of dangerous goods, the packaging and labelling requirements, and the necessary documentation.

In Australia, the National Transport Commission maintains the road and rail freight regulation.

Labelling Requirements for Dangerous Goods

Proper labelling and packaging are crucial when shipping dangerous goods to ensure that they are handled and transported safely, which is why we have built many DG requirements into the booking processes in the FreightExchange platform. When completing a quote or booking, the DG Declaration and labels will be populated with the information each carrier requires.

Packaging Requirements for Dangerous Goods

All packages containing dangerous goods must be clearly marked with the required labels and markings to indicate the nature and the potential hazards associated with the contents. These labels or markings must comply with international standards and help emergency responders identify the risks involved should an incident occur. You must also provide the transport company with your signed DG Declaration and all Safety Data Sheets.

All packaging must be designed to withstand any potential damage during transportation and must provide adequate protection against leaks, spills, and other hazards.

Tracking Dangerous Goods in Transit

Shipping dangerous goods is more complex than shipping other commodities, so it’s important to understand that delays can occur. It is crucial to have effective booking & tracking systems in place so that whereabouts of the shipments are known at all times and that any deviations or incidents can be quickly addressed.

Establishing clear lines of communication with all stakeholders involved in the shipping process, including carriers, regulators, and emergency responders, can greatly enhance the ability to monitor and track dangerous goods shipments effectively.

Ready To Streamline Your Dangerous Goods Shipping Processes?

FreightExchange is the go to platform for all your DG shipping needs.

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