Dangerous goods include items and substances that can be toxic, explosive, flammable, radioactive, or more. Proper transportation of these goods is extremely important for the protection of human health and the environment.

In May 2023, the global organization that brings together associations and companies operating in the field of logistics and international transportation – FIATA – released an updated brochure titled ‘Introduction to the Rules of Safe Handling and Transportation of Dangerous Goods.’ Its goal is to develop the professional community of forwarders, promote the improvement of service quality, and standardize these services.


The Importance of Proper Classification and Labeling of Dangerous Goods


The classification and labeling of goods follow a universal principle worldwide, thanks to the standardized standards developed by the United Nations. This identification is visually represented through special labels that display specific codes with letters, numbers, symbols, and colors, affixed to the cargo and transportation.

Adhering to uniform rules simplifies the smooth movement of goods and offers a range of other advantages:

  • Safety for people and the environment. Proper classification helps implement appropriate safety measures that reduce the risks of accidents, emissions, pollution, and other negative factors.

  • Compliance with rules and legislation. Most countries have strict requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, fines, and transportation stoppages.

  • Efficiency in the logistics process. Unified standards assist in selecting appropriate means of transport, packaging, and recommended routes. This significantly streamlines the collaboration of all participants in the supply chain.


Classification of Dangerous Goods


The classification of dangerous goods is based on various criteria such as their chemical nature, degree of toxicity, explosive and fire hazards, and more. These criteria were created based on recommendations provided by the United Nations and are applied in all international regulatory documents governing the transportation of dangerous goods.

Accordingly, they are divided into the following classes and subclasses:

Classification of Dangerous Goods


Class 1: Explosives (TNT, nitroglycerin, etc.).

Class 2: Gases (compressed, liquefied, and dissolved: propane, butane, chlorine, ammonia, etc.).

Class 3: Flammable liquids (gasoline, acetone, ethyl alcohol).

Class 4.1: Flammable solids, self-reactive substances, polymerizing substances, and solid desensitized explosives (aluminum-magnesium powder, solid alcohol, styrene, etc.).

Class 4.2: Substances liable to spontaneous combustion (phosphorus, lithium, etc.).

Class 4.3: Substances that emit flammable gases when in contact with water (sodium, lithium, barium, etc.).

Class 5.1: Oxidizing substances (ammonium nitrate fertilizer, bleaches, hydrogen peroxide, etc.).

Class 5.2: Organic peroxides (components of white paint).

Class 6.1: Toxic substances (hydrogen cyanide, nitrogen oxides).

Class 6.2: Infectious substances (hospital waste, diagnostic samples, etc.).

Class 7: Radioactive materials (uranium, plutonium, thorium).

Class 8: Corrosive substances (acids – sulfuric, hydrochloric; alkalis – sodium hydroxide; salts).

Class 9: Other hazardous substances and products (lithium batteries, herbicides, castor oil, asbestos, etc.).


How Are Hazardous Goods Transported?

Various types of specialized transport are used to transport hazardous goods, such as cargo trucks of various classes, railway cars, maritime and river vessels, and cargo aircraft.

These types of transport meet safety requirements and allow for the efficient and reliable transportation of various types of goods and substances. They are equipped with ADR kits and additional fire extinguishing equipment.

However, safety largely depends on the quality of tare. In general, for the transportation of hazardous goods, tare, tanks, and containers are widely used.

They are specifically designed for the respective classes of cargo and ensure their reliable insulation from the external environment. Special attention is given to the strength of materials, hermetic sealing, resistance to moisture, temperature changes, and mechanical influences. This helps to prevent potential accidents and negative consequences during transportation.

Before using tare for the transportation of hazardous goods, it undergoes special tests. This procedure is known in the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) as “type approval of the construction of packaging for dangerous goods”.


The Legislative Requirements for the Transportation of Hazardous Goods

The primary source of legislation in the field of transporting dangerous goods is the United Nations (UN) Recommendations. This document establishes standards and requirements for the classification, packaging, labeling, documentation, and other aspects of transporting hazardous materials. It includes detailed instructions and recommendations for each class of dangerous goods and mode of transportation, including road, rail, air, and sea.

The national legislations of many countries are built upon these documents, converting their provisions into domestic regulations and requirements. This contributes to the establishment of a unified safety standard for transporting hazardous materials worldwide.


Trust SYNEX Logistics with the transportation of hazardous goods

The SYNEX Logistics team has years of experience in transporting various types of cargo, including ADR:

  • We specialize in both standard and ADR cargo, ensuring reliable transportation for each type;

  • We conduct international road transportation to different parts of the world, including intercontinental sea and air transport;

  • We have a successful track record of transporting alcohol, lubricants, food additives, power elements, and even munitions.

We possess a deep understanding of ADR requirements and comply with international conventions. Therefore, we guarantee that the cargo will safely and punctually reach its destination. You are welcome to contact us for more detailed information.

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