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Shipping Hazardous Items: What You Need to Know

Shipping Hazardous Items: What You Need to Know

From classification and freight requirements to DOT regulations and hazard markings, ensure your business navigates shipping hazardous materials effectively.

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Many important factors go into safely shipping hazardous items. Depending on the freight your small or medium-sized business produces, your shipment may require special shipping needs or will require classification as a hazardous item. Shipping hazardous items is an entirely different scenario than other standard freight pieces. Here’s a breakdown of how to correctly ship hazardous items.

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Classifying Hazardous Freight

The term HAZMAT is an abbreviation for “Hazardous Materials.” The main contrast between hazardous shipping items and other kinds of freight is how it is defined and classified. There are essentially two steps of “classification” for hazardous materials. They include organizing the type of hazardous material and its freight class. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has specific rules for shipping hazmat items. They classify these risky shipments into nine classes:

  • 1: Explosives
  • 2: Gases
  • 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids
  • 4: Flammable Solids
  • 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides
  • 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances
  • 7: Radioactive Items
  • 8: Corrosives
  • 9: Diverse Hazardous Items

Shipping Hazardous Items: What You Need to Know

Most of these classes also contain class divisions for more specific items. The DOT also provides a Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling, and Placarding Guide that hazmat shippers should familiarize themselves with. These risky items are also determined by a list of levels. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) rates them here in the U.S. These levels are:

  • Red – Flammable
  • Blue – Health Hazard
  • Yellow – Instability Hazard
  • 4 – Ranges from Lethal to Explosive
  • 3 – Ranges from Permanent Injury to Explodes
  • 2 – Ranges from Temporary Injury to Violent Chemical Change
  • 1 – Ranges from No Hazard to Stable
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LTL shipping involves combining multiple small shipments from different customers onto one truck, allowing each customer to share the shipment cost. Trust the experts at FreightCenter to give you the best prices and the most comprehensive options for all your LTL freight shipping needs.

Full Truckload

Truckload shipping, also known as full truckload (FTL), is a transportation option for freight that requires the entire trucks trailer space. Unlike LTL shipping, FTL shipping is reserved for larger commodities that exceed LTL weight and size limits, typically weighing more than 20,000 pounds or having dimensions that exceed 12 feet in length, 8 feet in width, and 8 feet in height. We deliver optimized solutions for full or partial truckloads and competitive dry van, flatbed, and refrigerated freight pricing. We can cover your full truckload shipping needs.

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Nationwide Expedited Trucking services move your freight securely and rapidly. Your freight requires fast delivery; our freight shipping experts can get your shipment fast, whether in one large box or a full truckload.

Specialized Freight Shipping

Specialized is a transportation option for items that require specialized handling, equipment, or shipping conditions. Specialized shipments may include high-value cargo, oversized cargo, or cargo that require temperature-controlled transportation. The most reliable Specialized Freight Services rates from all the top carriers are just a few steps away. From white glove service to international shipping, we've got you covered.

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