Shipping Hazardous Materials

What Does Hazmat Mean In Shipping?

in Detailed Guide on April 26, 2022

Hey guys, today in this article, we are going to talk about the complete guide to shipping hazardous materials. So keep reading. Many common goods like paint, batteries, cosmetics, and liquor are considered dangerous for shipping and storage. They are labeled as hazardous materials or ‘hazmats.’ But why? The answer lies in the fact that these items can lead to environmental or health hazards if handled professionally.

Shipping hazmats is a complex and expensive task for this reason. In the US, shipping companies need to be certified according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). There are regulations related to other government agencies, such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that also need to be considered.

If you need to transport hazmat safely, you should hire a certified team of 3PL hazmat experts, like Go Hazmat Hub. Working with a 3PL team makes it easier for you to comply with hazmat regulations.

The safe handling and shipment of hazardous materials or lab transport services are critical to the safety of lives, the prevention of loss, and the continuity of business. In this article, we will cover the basic categories of hazmat.

What Is The Meaning Of HAZMAT?

Hazardous materials are dangerous materials that cause physical harm to property or living things. As the name suggests, hazmats pose a serious risk of injury or death to employees, customers, and other stakeholders if not handled properly. They can also cause permanent damage to operational installations and the surrounding environment. In shipping, we also call them ‘hazmats’.

Hazmats, therefore, need to be handled with care to minimize the occurrence of a serious hazard. They must be transported in special containers and vehicles to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the process. Additionally, the materials need to be handled by trained staff.

What Types Of Goods Are Classified As HAZMAT?

The US Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCA) groups hazmats in 9 major classes. This classification ranges from extremely dangerous substances – like explosives – to common fast-moving consumer goods – like shaving cream, nail polish removers, and disinfectants.

All of these items can pose a shipping hazard if the transporter fails to take adequate precautions. The FMCA also breaks down each major hazmat category into subcategories for clarity.

Class 1: Explosives

This class of materials can explode under specific conditions. They can cause massive property damage and instant death.


– 1.1: Explosives with a mass explosion hazard
– 1.2: Explosives with a blast and projection hazard
– 1.3: Explosives with minor blast hazard
– 1.4: Explosives with a major fire risk
– 1.5: Very insensitive explosives
– 1.6: Extremely insensitive explosives

Examples of Class 1 HAZMAT items include TNT, ammunition, gun powder, consumer fireworks, rocket fuel, and car airbags.

Class 2: Gases

This category includes gases that can cause injury or death when inhaled or damage to surfaces on contact. Gases need to be stored in tight containers to prevent accidents or widespread contamination.


2.1: Flammable gases
2.2: Non-flammable gases
2.3: Toxic gases

Examples of Class 2 HAZMAT items include a variety of commercial and consumer sprays, such as perfumes, pepper spray, hair spray, fire extinguishers, insecticides, and air fresheners.

Class 3: Flammable Liquids

These liquids will ignite on very low flashpoints. Therefore, they pose a significant fire hazard.


3.1: Flashpoint below -18°C (0°F)
3.2: Flashpoint below -18°C and above, but less than 23°C (73°F)
3.3: Flashpoint 23°C and up to 61°C (141°F)

Examples of Class 3 HAZMAT items include petrol, nail polish removers, butane, oil paints, paint thinner, and alcohol.

Class 4: Flammable Solids

This category includes solids that can ignite when they come in contact with fire. They can also catch fire on their own in extreme heat.


4.1: Flammable solids
4.2: Spontaneously combustible solids
4.3: Solids that are dangerous when wet

Examples of Class 4 HAZMAT items include matches, sulfur, coal, alkali metals (sodium, potassium, etc.), and sodium batteries.

Class 5: Oxidizers/Organic Peroxides

These chemicals produce oxygen in chemical reactions, increasing the risk of a fire breaking out.


5.1: Oxidizers
5.2: Organic peroxides

Examples of Class 5 HAZMAT items include nitrates, fertilizers, bleaching materials, hydrogen peroxide, and chlorine.

Class 6: Toxic and Infectious Substances

This class includes poisonous substances that can cause death, serious injury, or harm to humans if inhaled or swallowed. Infectious substances are those items that carry pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.).


Division 6.1: Poisonous materials
Division 6.2: Etiologic (infectious) materials

Examples of Class 6 HAZMAT items include a medical waste (blood samples and used needles), arsenic, natural products, and pesticides.

Class 7: Radioactive Material

This class includes material or a combination of materials that spontaneously release ionizing radiation. The minimum threshold for radioactivity is 0.002 microcuries per gram.

Examples of Class 7 HAZMAT items include radioisotopes that are used in medical equipment (Co-60), geology (C-14), and nuclear fuel (Uranium).

Class 8: Corrosive Materials

These materials can cause severe or irreversible damage to human skin or metals.

Examples of Class 8 HAZMAT items include a range of acids (sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid) and alkalis (hydroxides and alkaline battery liquids).

Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials

This class includes all those products that do not fit into the previous categories.

Examples of Class 9 HAZMAT items include dry ice, lithium-ion batteries, vehicles, and first-aid kits.

Consult An Expert For Safe HAZMAT Handling

If you need to transport hazmats to anywhere in the US, Go Hazmat Hub offers reliable solutions for any class of Hazmat. We offer a wide range of hazardous waste management services and shipping, including emergency hazmat handling, safe and sound transportation, and incident response support.

Call us today to learn more.

SO that’s all from our side. I hope you liked this article on the complete guide to shipping hazardous materials. Thanks for reading.

Also, you can check: 5 Best eCommerce Platforms That You Can Use.

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