Shipping Dangerous Goods

Are You Shipping “Dangerous” Goods?

If you transport any products deemed hazardous by the authorities, you must have the required approval to do so. At Couriers & Freight, we take responsible shipping very seriously. If you fail to understand and/or declare dangerous goods – you could be at risk of fines, prosecution or even a jail sentence. Don’t take the risk. Talk to Couriers & Freight today to ensure your shipment is safe and compliant.

Packaging Tips

Keep in mind that any item over 35 kilograms (dead weight) must be placed in a skid or pallet. Health and safety requirements prevent freight drivers lifting anything above this weight. Putting multiple cartons that are being shipped by the same carrier should be put onto one pallet so they can be easily and quickly collected by the driver. If they're going to multiple destinations you’ll need to put “Breakdown at depot” on the label so the carrier knows.

The Perfect Carton

The perfect carton to ship depends on whose shipping it. When it comes to Startrack, the ideal carton  is up to 1.2 metres and weighs up to 20 kilograms. TNT and Toll also like cartons that are up to 1.2 metres but weight shifts to 30 kilograms. All providers prefer packages that don't contain liquids, fragile or loose items. If your package meets these specifications it will easily move through carrier automated sorting systems, and can be easily lifted and moved by drivers and freight handlers. Perfect cartons means cheaper freight for you.

Imperfect Cartons but we still take them

The not so perfect carton is one that’s over 1.2 metres, has straps, contains dangerous goods, fragile items and liquids. While not ideal they can still be shipped via air and road freight networks but will incur higher fees and charges as they require manual handling.

Measuring the Volumetric Weight

Volumetric weight for international shipments are calculated using the formulae below. Volumetric weights for domestic shipments may vary, so please contact your local Couriers and Freight customer services department or country website. Length x width x height in centimetres / 6000 = Volumetric weight in kilograms rounded up to the nearest 0.5kg.

* Internation courier conversion rate

Carton Example

Volumetric Weight Formula: Height x Length x Width / 6000

  • Width = 40 cm
  • Height = 35 cm
  • Length = 65 cm

Multiply the height x length x width = 40 x 35 x 65 = 91,000 cm³

To convert 91,000 cm³ to a weight in kilograms: Divide the number by 5000 and round up. Volumetric weight of the carton is 18.2 kg

How We Calculate Your Cubic Weight

Transport companies charge either dead weight or cubic weight. Which ever is greater! Dead weight = the actual weight of the item and cubic weight = the volume weight i.e. size of the freight item (formula calculation) see below. Throughout the industry, different cubic conversions exist. This normally depends on what transport mode is utilised by the customer. Please see the rate factor table on the right to see which one applies to you.

  • Cubic Weight: (Cubic Volume) x (Cubic Conversion Rate)

Cubic Rate Factors

  • Express freight: 250
  • General Freight: 333
  • International Courier: 200
  • Air freight: 164
  • Sea Freight: 1000

Measuring the Cubic Volume of Freight

Cubic conversion is the term given to measuring the size of a freight consignment. Large and lightweight shipments may take up more space on the trailer than heavy weight freight items, so it is important the size of freight is taken into consideration when calculating freight costs.

Cubing a Carton

Cubic Volume Formula: Height x Length x Width

  • Width = 40 cm (or 0.4 of a metre)
  • Height = 35 cm (or 0.35 of a metre)
  • Length = 65 cm (or 0.65 of a metre)
  • Actual Weight: 15kg

Multiply the height x length x width = 0.35 x 0.65 x 0.4 = 0.091 m³ (Cubic Measurement)

To convert 0.091 m³ to a weight in kilograms: Multiply 0.091m3 x 333 (general freight cubic conversion) = 30.30 kg
30.30 kg is greater than the actual weight of 15 kg

Cubing a Pallet

Cubic Volume Formula: Height x Length x Width

  • Width = 1.2 m
  • Height = 1.9 m
  • Length = 1.2 m
  • Actual Weight: 450 kg

Multiply the height x length x width = 1.9 x 1.2 x 1.2 = 2.736 m³ (Cubic Measurement)

To convert 2.736 m³ to a weight in kilograms: Multiply 2.736 m³ x 333 (general freight cubic conversion) = 911 kg
911 kg greater than the actual weight of 450 kg

Cubing an Odd Shaped Item

Cubic Volume Formula: Height x Length x Width

  • Width = 1.4 m
  • Height = 1.6 m
  • Length = 1.3 m
  • Actual Weight: 580 kg

Multiply the height x length x width = 1.6 x 1.3 x 1.4 = 2.912 m³ (Cubic Measurement)

To convert 2.912 m³ to a weight in kilograms: Multiply 2.912 m³ x 333 (general freight cubic conversion) = 970 kg
970 kg greater than the actual weight of 580 kg

Cubing a Cylinder

Cubic Volume Formula: Height x Length x Width

  • Diameter = 1.1 m
  • Height = 1.9 m
  • Actual Weight: 500 kg

Multiply the height x diameter x diameter = 1.9 x 1.1 x 1.1 = 2.299 m³ (Cubic Measurement)

To convert 2.912 m³ to a weight in kilograms: Multiply 2.912 m³ x 333 (general freight cubic conversion) = 765 kg
765 kg greater than the actual weight of 500 kg

Other Labels to Look Out for

If you spot any of the labels shown on the items you want to ship, you'll need to get in touch with us.If you're not sure whether your shipment is dangerous goods or not, ask the manufacturer or supplier for a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If it contains a UN number, it's a dangerous good. Alternatively, you can just contact us.

Common Dangerous Goods

Some goods that are classified as hazardous materials may surprise you, such as aerosols, perfume or anything containing lithium batteries – like phones or laptops.

Batteries

If packed incorrectly or damaged in transit, lithium batteries can short-circuit, causing them to overheat and catch fire.

Sprays and Aerosols

The compressed gas that makes these items work is hazardous and can explode if packed incorrectly.

See more

Paints and Varnishes

Oil-based paints, spray paints and some varnishes can overheat and catch fire in certain conditions.

See more

Perfumes

Alcohol, which is a flammable substance, is also a crucial ingredient in almost all perfumes and colognes.

See more

Magnets

Magnets can cause problems in transit affecting other packages or even cause disruptions to avionics or material handling equipment

See more

Alcohol

If the alcohol content of the beverage exceeds 24% proof it is classified as a dangerous good

See more

Pool Chemicals

Can start a fire or release toxic gases if they come into contact with other chemicals, including moisture and water.

See more

Cylinders

May contain compressed or liquefied gas examples include fire extinguishers

See more

Combustion Engines

If the alcohol content of the beverage exceeds 24% proof it is classified as a dangerous good

See more

Whose Responsibility Is All This?

It’s the shipper’s responsibility to ensure dangerous goods are correctly declared, packed and labelled with the right documentation for the countries of origin, transit and destination. What we can do is make it as easy as possible for you to follow these rules. With a bit of teamwork, we’ll get your dangerous goods shipped in no time.

Any Questions?

If you have any doubts about whether your shipment is classified as dangerous goods or not, just get in touch with our experts using the button below. They’re on hand to answer all your dangerous goods questions – and will walk you through the shipping process.

Talk to us today

Dangerous Goods Declaration

To ship dangerous goods, consignors are required to prepare a form certifying that the cargo has been packed, labeled and declared according. Download the form below and start shipping.

Dangerous Goods Declaration Form

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