Proper classification of shipment is very important for individual shippers and business owners alike.
People would often ship or move things around without knowing whether their shipment would involve hazardous materials.
Hazardous materials or HAZMAT could cost an arm and leg or more expensive compared to non-HAZMAT or regular goods.
This is reasonable though considering that hazardous material would need proper storage or packaging as this can pose a great amount of risk to other shipments in a vessel or a truck.
Department of Tourism Role on HAZMAT Classification
HAZMAT has been carefully specified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) to include certain toxic substances or chemicals in gas, liquid, or solid forms.
This could also be a combination of all three forms in a product. This would commonly include chemicals, nuclear waste materials, fuels, and other radiological substances.
These hazardous chemicals are actually found in most household products that are regularly used at home or for commercial purposes. In fact, these hazardous materials are routinely transported on a daily basis.
HAZMAT spills or careless packaging could wreak havoc and cause injury, health problems, damage of property, environmental hazards, or even death.
The Department of Transportation is the primary regulating body when it comes to the classification and handling of HAZMAT.
As people could be dealing with gray areas in determining whether one is a HAZMAT or not, DOT has outlined particularly what constitutes HAZMAT for the precise segmentation of shipments.
Different HAZMAT Classes
Outlined below are the 9 HAZMAT classes which are divided into different categories according to the Code of Federal Regulations. This determines the class and type of material for shipment.
In essence, the shipment would belong to a higher freight class depending on how dangerous the substance or material is. If freight would need specialized handling or extra precaution then extra fees will be applied.
Class 1 – Explosives
These are materials that are designed to explode or shatter.
1) Mass Explosion Hazard
2) Projection Hazard
3) Explosives with Fire Hazard
4) Explosives without Significant Blast Hazard
5) Insensitive Explosives
6) Extremely Insensitive Explosives
Class 2 – Gases
These are substances in a gas form that can easily fill any space it occupies.
1) Flammable Gases
2) Non-Flammable Gases
3) Poison Gases
4) Corrosive Gases
Class 3 – Flammable Liquids
These are liquid substances that are combustible or ignitable.
1) Flammable Below 18°C
2) Flammable Between 18°C and 23°C
3) Flammable Between 23°C and 61°C
Class 4 – Flammable Solids
This includes solid materials or substances that are combustible or burnable and also those substances that pose danger when wet.
1) Flammable Solids
2) Spontaneously Combustible Material
3) Materials that are Dangerous when Wet
Class 5 – Organic Peroxides and Oxidizers
This includes materials or substances that are reactive with oxygen.
2) Organic Peroxides
Class 6 – Poisons and Etiologic Materials
This comprises of substances or materials that are deemed toxic or poisonous and also pose infection to anyone who comes in close contact with it.
1) Poisonous Materials
2) Etiologic Materials
Class 7 – Radioactive Materials
This category includes materials that in combination or alone can be radioactive or cause potential damage to anyone who comes in contact with these substances.
Class 8 – Corrosives
This consists basically of materials or substances that are caustic or abrasive to the skin or other material that it comes in contact with.
Class 9 – Miscellaneous Substances
This includes materials that do not belong to classes 1 to 8 but are still considered hazardous for transport.
With the above classification levels, you would now be able to determine whether a material is hazardous or not.
However, for new materials, the creator or researcher is the person responsible for identifying and determining whether the material or substances pose potential hazards.
In the event that the researcher won’t be able to identify the hazards of new material, then DOT would be able to intervene with the identification procedure.
Reportable Quantities or Small Quantities
HAZMAT can be segregated as either falling under “reportable quantities” or “small quantities”.
A HAZMAT is labeled as “reportable” if it has a large or considerable amount of HAZMAT that can cause potential harm to anyone or other cargo.
With that in mind, it is then very crucial to be able to properly tag and identify these substances and report them accurately.
For “small quantities”, you could have an exception or eligible for deductions in fees if the material or substances to be shipped is labeled as a HAZMAT but does not pose any actual or real threat.
Zip Logistics has expert and certified professionals onboard that are trained in the planning, packaging, handling, and shipping of HAZMAT.
You can’t just trust any freight forwarder for this. We have what it takes to safely move HAZMAT cargo of all hazard classes from the point of origin to its destination. Seriously, we got your back on this.