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Guidelines for Safe Transportation of Chemicals/Dangerous Goods


Guidelines for Safe Transportation of Chemicals/Dangerous Goods


Summary of this article:

What are chemicals?

Chemical transportation requirements

What are dangerous goods?

Nine types of common dangerous goods

Packaging requirements for dangerous goods transportation

Dangerous Goods Transport Document

Six-step guide to transporting dangerous goods

What are chemicals?

Chemicals are substances composed of one or more chemical elements and have specific chemical properties and composition. These substances can be solids, liquids, or gases, and can exist in different forms, including compounds, mixtures, and pure elements.

Chemicals are involved in many fields, including industry, agriculture, medicine, daily life, etc. They can be used for a variety of purposes including manufacturing, processing, cleaning, pest control, and diagnostics. The use of chemicals can bring benefits, but it also requires attention to safety issues during use and handling, causing damage to humans and the environment.

There are many ways to classify chemicals, which can be classified according to their properties, uses, hazards, etc. For example, common classification methods include hazard classification (such as flammable, corruptible, toxic, etc.), functional classification (such as solvents, catalysts, storage media, etc.) and use classification (such as pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, cleaning agents, etc.).

For the handling and use of chemicals, relevant laws, regulations and safety measures should be strictly observed to ensure the safety of personnel and the environment.

Chemical transportation requirements

Ordinary chemicals can be transported by air, rail, sea and truck. You only need to provide the Certification for safe transp of chemical goods and MSDS for normal transportation. Generally, these documents are provided by the shipper. If they do not have VIPUTRANS, they can also assist. Different reports have different charging standards. You can refer to our charging standards.

What are dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods refer to items that pose a threat to the human body, environment or property during transportation. They must be handled strictly in accordance with regulations during transportation, otherwise it is easy to cause accidents.

Dangerous goods can be solids, liquids or gases, or they can be corrosive materials or daily necessities such as perfume. Tank containers are suitable for transporting various dangerous goods. These containers can be stacked, which not only ensures transportation safety, but also facilitates the transportation of bulk materials.

Nine types of common dangerous goods

The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods divides dangerous goods into nine categories based on different degrees of danger.

Category 1: Explosives

Explosives refer to substances that can burn or detonate rapidly through chemical reactions and can be further subdivided into the following six categories:

Substances and articles with a mass explosion hazard

Substances or items with a risk of projection but no risk of mass explosion

Substances and articles that have a burning hazard, a local explosion hazard or a local projection hazard, or both hazards but no overall explosion hazard

Substances and items that do not present significant hazards

Particularly sensitive substances with a risk of mass explosion

Particularly sensitive substances without mass explosion hazard

Fireworks, flares and gunpowder are all explosives.

Category 2: Gas

This type of dangerous goods refers to gases that pose a safety threat to the human body or the environment. Gases can be compressed, liquefied, dissolved or frozen, or they can be a mixture of two or more gases, and can be subdivided into the following three categories:

Flammable gas

Non-flammable and non-toxic gas

Toxic gas

Helium, oxygen, and chlorine are all dangerous gases.

Category 3: Flammable liquids

Flammable liquids can be single liquids, mixtures of liquids, or liquids containing solids that have a very low ignition point. Because it is highly volatile and combustible, transporting flammable liquids is highly dangerous. Kerosene, acetone, and gas oil are all flammable liquids.

Category 4: Flammable solids

Similar to flammable liquids, certain solid substances are also flammable and are called flammable solids. Flammable solids can be divided into the following three categories:

Flammable solids

Substances prone to spontaneous combustion

Substances that release flammable gases when in contact with water

Metal powders, sodium batteries, activated carbon, etc. are all flammable solids.

Category 5: Oxidizing substances

Such substances include oxidizing agents and organic peroxides. Due to their high oxygen content, these substances are highly reactive and therefore highly flammable. Lead nitrate and hydrogen peroxide are both oxidizing substances.

Category 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

Toxic substances can harm human health if swallowed, inhaled or in contact with skin. Infectious materials can also cause illness in people or animals. Medical waste, dyes, biological cultures, etc. all fall into this category.

Category 7: Radioactive materials

Unstable radioactive materials are very dangerous and can seriously threaten human health and the environment. Medical isotopes and ammonium diuranate are both radioactive substances.

Category 8: Corrosive substances

Corrosive materials will degrade or disintegrate materials in contact with them, are highly reactive, and will produce strong chemical reactions. Batteries, chlorides and paint are all corrosive substances.

Category 9: Miscellaneous hazardous substances and articles

This category covers all other hazardous substances and items that do not fall into each of the above categories, such as dry ice, marine pollutants, car engines, etc.

Dangerous goods transport packaging requirements

Here are a few packaging requirements to be aware of when transporting dangerous goods:

United Nations number: This is a four-digit code prefixed by UN. Each substance has a corresponding number. For example, the United Nations number for acetone is UN 1090.

PSN: is the English abbreviation of "Formal Shipping Name" and is an accurate description of the goods. For example, the PSN for a lighter is "LIGHTERS".

Packing categories: The United Nations has divided three packaging categories, namely Packaging Group I, Category II and Category III, to facilitate us to determine the degree of packaging required for specific goods.

In addition, you also need to provide the corresponding dangerous goods transport documents.

Dangerous Goods Transport Document

If you are transporting dangerous goods and want your goods to clear customs smoothly at the port, these documents are crucial:

Chemical Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

The MSDS contains basic information about hazardous materials and instructions for safe handling.

Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD)

The DGD indicates the dangerous goods category, identification marks, special packaging instructions and labels.

Dangerous Goods Manifest (DGM)

DGM covers all important information about dangerous goods.


The TREM card contains instructions on how to transport dangerous goods, and workers handling dangerous goods must carry this card with them.

Dangerous Goods Packing Certificate

This document focuses on the identification number of the container and proves that the packaging of dangerous goods meets the requirements.

Six-step guide to transporting dangerous goods

  • Be aware of relevant laws and regulations

When transporting dangerous goods, it is important to correctly understand and comply with relevant regulations. Transporting different types of dangerous goods is subject to different regulations, including different requirements for documentation, packaging, marking and cargo labeling.

  • Receive specialized training

Anyone involved in the transport of dangerous goods needs to receive specialized training to ensure they can handle dangerous goods safely. You can even hire a professional agency or individual to help you stock up.

  • Proper classification of dangerous goods

The consignor or shipper is obliged to correctly classify and label dangerous goods to help cargo operators understand the condition of the goods.

  • Pack goods correctly

Proper packaging of hazardous materials is critical to transportation safety. We should avoid randomly stuffing goods into containers. In most cases, we need to use special materials such as tapes, ropes, and polyester bags to package dangerous goods.If it is shipped by air, you need to use a UN box for transportation.

  • Use labels and documents correctly

In addition to packaging the goods correctly, you also need to equip the dangerous goods with corresponding labels. Before doing this, you need to remove the old labels from the second-hand containers. At the same time, you also need to properly keep all relevant important documents.

  • Find the right container

Dangerous goods need to be transported in special boxes. You can choose ISO tank containers or other types of intermodal tank containers.


If you have any question about shipping Chemicals/Dangerous Goods please feel free to consult Viputrans  Lora Yang E-mail: sales02@viputrans.com





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