Working with hazardous cargo presents its own set of challenges when it comes to packing, shipping and receiving. Sometimes the challenge is in the cargo itself, as some materials we think are regular everyday items end up being hazardous to ship (like batteries!) If you need to ship hazardous materials in the near future, here are some important tips when shipping hazardous cargo.
Following the proper procedures is a must. Remember, most lines have specific templates for hazardous cargo requests. This can change from line to line, so even a bit of previous experience may not match what the new shipping line must see in order to take the cargo. Once you receive that template, the shipper must fill in everything and then the shipping line determines if the right information has been provided. Don’t hurry over this step! You will only cause yourself delays.
Some shipping vessels can only carry certain kinds or quantities of hazardous materials. So if you recommend your own vessel, the shipping company will do an immediate check to determine whether what you chose will work. This can vary even from port to port. You will need to fill out a packing declaration and have a copy for the shipping line. This is the most critical document of the lot! Misdeclarations can cost you big time; in some cases, it has even cost port workers their very lives.
Containers must be packed according to the hazardous specifications. Don’t assume that just because you have the go-ahead to ship hazardous materials that the work is done yet! This is one of the most important parts. The identification of a hazardous container is critical for proper storage and handling. Clients who skip this step often find their cargo will not ship, as a port won’t accept any hazardous container without all the proper labels on all four sides of the container. Details matter!
If you want more help shipping items that may be considered hazardous, consult K International – your shipping and logistical experts!