Transporting dangerous goods is, for obvious reasons, the most delicate of all existing transportation methods.

Moreover, it is one that demands the most bureaucracy and, consequently, requires a greater level of planning.

Therefore, if you’re considering opting for this type of freight transportation and want to know everything you need to take into account before getting started, don’t miss the following lines.

What is dangerous goods shipping?

The dangerous goods shipping is the transport of materials that may be hazardous to the health and/or safety of people, animals or the environment.

Potentially hazardous elements can be solids, liquids, or gases, and their hazardous nature can be caused by their chemical, physical, or biological characteristics.

What they all have in common is that if they are not handled properly, they can pose a risk to public safety, so necessary measures must be taken to ensure their safe transportation.

List of dangerous goods

Some of the goods classified as dangerous by various international bodies include:

  • Explosives, such as fireworks, rockets, and ammunition.
  • Flammable gases, such as butane, propane, and acetylene.
  • Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, diesel oil, and kerosene.
  • Toxic substances, such as chemicals used in agriculture and industry.
  • Radioactive materials, such as uranium and plutonium.
  • Corrosive substances, such as sulfuric acid and chlorine.
  • Oxidizing substances, such as hydrogen peroxide and sodium chlorate.
  • Infectious biological substances, such as medical samples and biological products.

It is important to note that there are many other materials that can be hazardous if handled or transported incorrectly. Therefore, it is recommended to verify whether a product is considered dangerous or not before handling or transporting it.

Everything you need to know about shipping dangerous goods

Transporting dangerous goods is a complex task that requires careful planning and precise execution to ensure the safety of workers, goods, and the environment.

In this regard, we aim to provide you with comprehensive information about all the essential aspects of shipping dangerous goods. This includes safety regulations, suitable packaging options, as well as considerations regarding temperature and other significant factors.

How dangerous goods shipping labels should look like

Shipping labels for dangerous goods play a critical role in the transportation process.

These labels should be easily recognizable and comply with specific requirements established by regulatory authorities.

Key information to include on these labels consists of the name of the hazardous substance, the UN identification number, and the hazard code.

Dangerous goods shipping documents

Among the most important documents required for the shipping of dangerous goods are:

  • Dangerous goods shipping declaration: This document is crucial for shipping dangerous goods and must be completed by the sender. It includes details about the associated hazards of the cargo and the shipping procedures followed to ensure compliance with safety requirements.
  • Dangerous Goods Shipping Labels: Labels are essential for identifying the contents of the package and ensuring proper handling. These labels must comply with national and international regulations for the transportation of dangerous goods and should be placed in visible locations.
  • Documents for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods: Dangerous goods shipping forms provide information about the cargo and its destination, as well as transportation conditions. This documentation includes the bill of lading, waybill, cargo manifest, and international transit document.

Trained professionals

Unlike other types of goods, transporting dangerous goods requires the expertise of trained and experienced professionals for handling and transportation.

These professionals must undergo specialized training in dangerous goods shipping to acquire in-depth knowledge of regulations and specific procedures. They need to possess the necessary skills and be equipped with appropriate equipment to ensure safe and efficient transportation.

With their comprehensive dangerous goods shipping training, these professionals are well-prepared to comply with safety regulations and mitigate potential risks associated with hazardous materials during transportation.

Dangerous goods containers

Shipping containers for dangerous goods must meet the requirements set by different regulations.

These containers should be sturdy and designed to withstand the specific type of dangerous goods being transported. Additionally, containers for dangerous goods must be properly labeled and equipped with necessary safety measures, such as detectors or fire extinguishers.

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Proper packaging is crucial when it comes to transporting dangerous goods. It should not only be durable and designed to withstand transportation conditions, but also correctly labeled and include absorbent materials if required.


Some dangerous goods are temperature-sensitive and need to be maintained at a specific temperature during transportation.

Before transporting temperature-sensitive dangerous goods, it is essential to be aware of the specific guidelines for each type of goods and take appropriate measures to maintain the required temperature throughout the transportation process.

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Shipment load planning

Planning the shipment of dangerous goods is a critical part of the transportation process.

  • This involves analyzing the type of cargo, its characteristics, and specific requirements that must be followed during transportation. Only by doing so can a safe shipment of dangerous goods be designed.
  • Another crucial aspect of planning the shipment of dangerous goods is reviewing the specific regulations of the destination country, as well as applicable international regulations.
  • It is important to note that in some cases, special permits and authorizations may be required for the transportation of certain dangerous goods, which should be considered during the shipment planning.
  • Before loading the cargo, it is necessary to ensure that all packages are properly packed and labeled.
  • Similarly, it is vital to analyze the transit time, as some dangerous goods may have a limited shelf life or a specific time window for their use.
  • In line with this, it must be ensured that the container is capable of providing the necessary climatic conditions for the cargo throughout its journey.

For these reasons, it is recommended to plan the international transportation of dangerous goods well in advance to avoid delays and ensure that all necessary safety precautions have been taken into account and implemented.

Secure your cargo

When it comes to shipping goods in general, insuring the cargo is already important. However, when dealing with potentially dangerous goods, ensuring the cargo becomes a crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked.

Therefore, all necessary measures must be taken to prevent damage to the cargo during transit, thus avoiding risks to the personnel involved in transportation and/or the environment.

If you are considering shipping dangerous goods, we recommend entrusting the task to a specialized company in the transportation of dangerous goods and using shipping containers specifically designed for them. This is particularly important if you have not done so before, as it is the shortest path to ensuring the safe and smooth delivery of your cargo to its destination.