4 best practices when handling and transporting dangerous goods

When handling hazardous goods, one must pay attention to multiple aspects: the storage and preservation, the preparation of the goods for transport, the choice of suitable packaging, labeling and other factors. Given that there are plenty of risks that derive from an incorrect handling of dangerous goods, the head of logistics, just like the giant Argo form the Latin mythology, has to have hundred eyes.

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As nothing can escape under his control, regulations have been put in place to optimize everything that revolves around this line of work. Hence, it is wise to know the best practice regarding transporting dangerous goods to enhance security while reducing the risks. Let’s have a detailed look at this subject.

Investing in storage and stockage

First of all, let’s have a look at the meaning of the word “stockage”: this term means in fact the preservation of goods in packages or containers inside a company building or in a designated space.

To be defined as stockage, the goods have to remain in one place for more than 24 hours, otherwise it would simply be called a layover. Also, during the preservation of goods for a longer period of time, it is necessary to establish security guidelines just like the ones that we are going to tackle here.

The most important step towards a secure stockage of dangerous goods is the construction and utilization of suitable storage space and equipment. Especially designed stockage can reduce the risk to inflict damage upon human beings, the environment and at the same time conserves the product itself. Other than that, one has to make sure that the fire regulations are put in place and adhered to and that under no circumstances hazardous substances seep into the ground water leading to damaging the environment. To sum it up, the storage space must always be kept in good conditions. That’s why it is so important to invest in proper equipment and services to prevent problems before they occur. From a monetary perspective, the investment can seem quite high, but on second thought it is more than worth it.

Protect your products

When handling dangerous goods, it is never advised to save money on packaging and labeling. What initially can seem as an economic advantage, can in the long run turn into sanctions or a fine. That’s why an early investment into the purchase of packaging and labeling according to current regulations, such as UN certified packaging, always turns out in one’s favor.

Looking at the packaging and labeling, the regulations in place speak loud and clear: both types must be resistant to severe weather conditions and erosion without being significantly degraded, even after being immersed for 3 months in seawater (see IMDG regulation). One can choose from different kinds of packaging: the selection varies in terms of the amount and the type of dangerous goods being transported as well as the transport modality (by road, rail, inland waterways, sea or air).

If you already have an inner packaging for your product, you can choose to buy a 4GV packaging, which is homologated to fit various inner packagings and dangerous objects, due to its rigorous testing. In this case, you must pay attention to the packing instructions, which state the pre-given distance between the inner packaging and the cardboard wall, the maximum gross weight in kg of the inner packaging and the amount of absorbent material to be used, equal to the one of the testing phase. Another way to proceed is to get a custom made outer packaging for your inner package or object. Hence, it is possible to get a certified 4G packaging, which is custom made to fit your product requirements.

Get a consultancy from an expert

Last but not least, it is always advisable to resort yourself to an expert. A consultancy can lead you towards the best logistical choice, but also towards a cost-efficient one. That way, you can securely transport your dangerous goods, helping your clients to receive their products on time and in one piece while respecting the environment.