Dangerous Goods Shipping – What You Need To Know

Transporting dangerous goods to a mine site is highly variable and comes with a high level of risk in terms of safety – amplified further when shipping to a remote location. In this article we detail what it takes to get your dangerous goods to site, safely and on time – every time.

What is classified as a dangerous good?

Dangerous goods are transportable substances or materials that, because of their physical, chemical or toxicity properties, present an immediate hazard to either people, property or the environment.

There are nine classes of dangerous goods based on their hazardous properties:

Dangerous Goods Class Table

Factors that could affect the transit of a dangerous good

There are many factors which must be considered when transporting dangerous goods, these include:

Handling procedures relating to the specific dangerous goods class

Depending on the level of danger or risk posed by the dangerous good, appropriate handling/safety procedures will be required during loading and shipment.

Destination and waypoints

Each country has different import laws, and this will affect whether a certain dangerous goods shipment can enter the area.

Transit modalities

Transit legislation plays a role in governing the rules to which logistics partners must abide by. In Australia, we abide by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to transport dangerous goods by air freight and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to transport via sea. Internationally, the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the IMO’s International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations and ICAOs Technical Instructions are also used for transporting dangerous goods.

Cargo specifications

The size and weight of the shipment will determine which mode of transport the dangerous good can be shipped by – for some dangerous goods it will be unfeasible to lift via air freight.

Safe temperature ranges

Careful consideration of the type of class the dangerous good falls into will indicate the highest and lowest temperatures to which each dangerous good can travel at – if these recommendations are deviated from, the dangerous goods could combust and cause damage.


Correct Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and completed Customs Compliance Forms must be attached to all dangerous goods shipments. Legal documentation according to the mode of transit must also be supplied.

Appropriate packaging, marking and labeling

Condition of the dangerous goods and packaging must comply with the correct Dangerous Goods Regulations and legislation.

Why it’s important to use a certified dangerous goods logistics partner

Using non-specialised logistics services to transport dangerous goods is a high-risk game. With no specific training, many logistics providers are not equipped with the necessary skills, experience and certification to handle the job.

Mischaracterisation of a shipment as ‘non-hazardous’ is all it takes for goods to be rejected at Customs, and this can come with significant penalties. Incorrectly declared dangerous goods is a form of terrorism, and fines, additional fees and goods held or rejected at Customs are just a few of the consequences.

More importantly, incorrectly classifying goods poses serious safety hazards for personnel inspecting or handling the shipment during transit — through exposure to gasses, liquids and chemicals, the risk of fire or explosion, and contact with high temperature or highly acidic materials.

Specialty Logistics: The Navigator Logistics Difference

At Navigator Logistics, successful transportation of dangerous cargo is expressed through expert staff who receive continuous training and development to confidently deal with the risks involved. All of our logistics operators are fully certified dangerous goods movers and pride themselves on excellent attention to detail.

In this instance, practice really does make perfect; with all of our fully certified staff performing specialised and dangerous shipments daily, we understand how important it is to ensure the safe arrival of dangerous goods to site.

Before shipment, labelling is triple-checked, only new labels are fixed to shipments and backup labels are placed in multiple areas to remove any risk of damaged or lost documentation.

Freight is packed to best practice standards and properly secured, with no materials overhanging and is kept flat.

Completed legal documentations, including but not limited to permits and declarations, are organised and affixed to all shipments before leaving their port of origin.

To minimise the risk of Customs ‘red lines’, we ensure a detailed commercial invoice is supplied, including a description of goods, tariff codes, the value of the shipment, the origin of manufacture and the appropriate incoterm.

It takes an expert

For your next dangerous goods shipment, consider a certified logistics expert who has the experience and capabilities to execute the request, problem-solve any setbacks and deliver your dangerous goods to site safely without any issues.