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Shipping Tips & Solutions  > 

How to ship hazardous materials with USPS

How to ship hazardous materials with USPS | DEFTSHIP

How to ship hazardous materials with USPS

When shipping anything considered dangerous, it is critical to read all of the USPS rules regarding Hazardous Materials. You are responsible for any violations of the rules. Know the best practices for safely shipping hazardous materials.

What are Hazardous Materials?

Hazardous materials are substances or chemicals that are harmful to the environment or pose a health risk.

Hazardous materials necessitate additional considerations during the shipping process. Specifically, your options for courier services and packaging are limited, which can result in additional costs. It is best to learn the rules and regulations for shipping hazardous items before shipping to ensure a smooth shipping experience. Furthermore, this will help you avoid delays caused by courier safety precautions.

Common hazard materials fall into one of nine categories, including:

  • Aerosols, like hair spray

  • Cleaning agents and solvents

  • Cigarette lighter fluid

  • Compressed oxygen

  • Fuels

  • Lithium-ion batteries

  • Inks

  • Matches

  • Nail polish

  • Paint

  • Perfumes/colognes

  • Pre-owned or damaged electronics with lithium-ion batteries

How to ship hazardous materials

If you want to ship hazardous materials with USPS, you’ll need to abide by the following guidelines:

  • Select the "Hazardous Materials" checkbox in the Extra Services menu when creating your label

  • Place a "limited quantity" sticker on the label side of your package. You can buy them here, for all markings requirements, please check the official document here.

  • Choose Parcel Select Ground as your service (DeftShip system will only show you Ground service if it's hazmat shipment)

Tips to Ship Hazardous Materials
  1. Follow Packaging Protocols

Special care must be taken when packaging hazardous materials. Each carrier has specific requirements for each type of dangerous good. In many cases, the carrier will not accept the package if the item is poorly packed.

  • Use padding or cushioning material: To minimize damage to both items, wrap them individually. If damage occurs during shipping There is also a health risk if it occurs

  • Use Styrofoam to transport dry ice: This acts as insulation for the dry ice and keeps it safe during transport

  • Use a suitable container/crate: Use good quality cardboard, plastic, or wooden box (i.e. fill the box with dry ice), depending on the hazardous material.

Packages may be exposed to moisture, extreme heat, or other weather conditions. That's why it's important to pack your hazardous materials properly so that they can withstand any storm. For example, cushioning and other cushioning materials help protect the transportation of dangerous goods.

  1. Follow the rules for shipping

Dangerous goods are regulated by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG), the US Department of Transportation, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). These organizations regulate the transportation of dangerous goods for safe transportation processes.

Packages containing dangerous goods must indicate the classification of the dangerous goods. Your shipment must contain: Correct shipping name, UN number, name and address of the recipient, and name and address of the sender

Dangerous goods have their own packaging requirements, but please use cushioning materials, sturdy boxes, etc. to avoid damage in transit.

  1. Fill out proper documentation

Before you can start shipping, you must complete the correct shipping documents. Failure to complete proper shipping paperwork or label packages correctly can result in hefty fines.