Shipping Hazardous Materials

What is considered hazardous when shipping in cargo containers? According to the Department of Defense, a hazardous material is a something that is capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health safety and property when being transported. This includes chemicals, gases and other substances like dry ice. In order to ship containers of hazardous materials additional training is many times required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) for anyone involved including those who are packaging, loading, transporting, and even preparing documents. There are no excuses for not knowing about your hazardous cargo. As with other cargo shipments, the shipper is responsible to know the details of what you are shipping including things like the weights, volume, flash points, pH, etc. as well as having the proper paperwork filled out with the shipping documents. The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest (UHWM) must be filled out for any and all hazardous waste that will be moving and this document will follow the hazardous waste from point of origin, storage and transport through to its disposal. Each person involved will sign and keep a copy of this in order to keep a proper paper trail until it is disposed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently revised its standard UHWM forms so anyone shipping hazardous materials must be obtain these forms from a source that has been approved by the EPA registry before shipping. As far as finding a carrier once you have the regulations completed, there are many shipping companies willing to ship hazardous materials. Some will ship at a higher cost due to the risks involved, but others may specialize in shipping your type of hazardous material. The best idea is to shop around and be sure to find a company that is willing to follow all regulations to ensure safe arrival of your cargo.