Dangerous Goods Transportation

What are Dangerous Goods?

Dangerous goods, also referred to as hazardous materials or hazmat, are items or substances that can endanger human health, property, or the environment and are either listed on the IATA’s list of dangerous goods or are categorized in accordance with those regulations. They are also referred to as dangerous cargo, hazardous materials, and restricted articles. 

More than 1.25 million shipments of dangerous goods go by air each year. The quantity of dangerous goods shipments will increase dramatically over the next five years, with air freight growth anticipated to average 4.9% annually. Because there are so many hazardous materials transported by air, safety requirements must be strictly adhered to. IATA collaborates with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) to detect dangers and update laws, giving stakeholders the most recent instructions on how to handle and transport risky commodities safely.

Why Should Dangerous Goods Be Handled Carefully?

Aerosols, lithium batteries, infectious materials, fireworks, dry ice, gasoline-powered machinery and engines, lighters, and paint are a few examples of dangerous goods. All individuals who prepare, offer, accept, and handle dangerous goods along the whole supply chain are obliged to complete dangerous goods training because IATA prioritizes safety above all else. One must receive training in handling these items appropriately whether they work as a shipper, freight forwarder, cargo acceptance agent, cabin crew member, or anything in between.

How Are They Regulated?

The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) guidelines for the safe transport of dangerous products serve as the foundation for the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations, a set of guidelines laid forth in an accessible rulebook. The United Nations’ classification of each item or substance, as well as its acceptance and requirements for air transport, are included in the IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. While ICAO updates its regulations every two years, IATA updates the handbook annually in recognition of the fact that substantial changes occur every year and that more recent data is needed to stay current with each specific country and airline restriction.

How Are Dangerous Goods Categorized And Identified?

Since it is crucial to classify dangerous goods appropriately in order for them to be adequately transmitted along the transport chain, the United Nations assigns them to one of nine classes. The following are the classes of dangerous goods:

3Flammable liquids
4Flammable solids (spontaneously combustible, substances that emit gases when in contact with water)
5Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
6Toxic and infectious substances
7Radioactive material
9Miscellaneous substances 

Hazardous material will be given a UN number and an appropriate shipping name based on its classification and content. A list of about 3,000 items and substances that are frequently carried by air can be found in IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulation Manual (DGR).

How Are They Transported?

There are precise protocols that must be followed for hazmat goods to be carried by air. Firstly, the shipper must adhere to their requirements, which include properly designating the item as dangerous goods, filling out the Dangerous Goods Declaration, and putting the shipment in a transportable condition. The cargo acceptance protocols are then meticulously carried out. The shipper’s submission will be checked to see if it conforms to the dangerous goods regulations by using the dangerous goods checklist.

The operator must then review the dangerous goods checklist to make sure all rules are followed within those constraints. The procedure of loading comes after dangerous items storage and handling are completed.

Certain dangerous goods should never be loaded or stored adjacent to each other or beside food items. To prevent shifting during transportation and causing harm to the packaging of the dangerous goods, the packing as well as other objects being shipped must be secured correctly.

Shipping and Handling Dangerous Goods

For their goods to be accepted by the airlines, shippers are required to strictly uphold a number of obligations. In addition to specifically adhering to the following rules, they are accountable for every facet of the packaging of their dangerous goods:

  • Adhere to particular packing specifications.
  • Employ the packaging allowed by the IATA’s dangerous goods regulations (DGR) only.
  • Properly assemble and seal packaging as directed.
  • Monitor the correct quantity for every package.
  • Make sure that the packaging’s exterior is free of contaminants.
  • Eliminate any previous container markings that are no longer applicable.
  • Label each package as required.
  • Along with the Air Waybill, fill out the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods properly.

The Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods, which details the hazardous materials being offered for air transportation, must be submitted by the shipper. The documentation for dangerous products must be filled out correctly, so extreme caution should be exercised. The products cannot be approved for air shipment if they are completed incorrectly.

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