One of the most frustrating issues with shipping dangerous goods is finding a carrier that will transport the goods. When a client contacts us for repackaging services, besides the DG information, I always ask if they have arranged a carrier to transport their goods. Most of the time it’s a “no”. Then I get started with what their options are; ground or air.
For shipments going from Canada to the US, believe it or not, it is easier to ship by air than ground. Of course, it does depend on the quantity being shipped and whether the DG is allowed for air transport. It is definitely more cost-effective to send anything via ground than air; however, that is not always true especially for small DG shipments. I have been told that sending a small, e.g., 20 lbs, DG package by air will cost about the same as sending it via ground.
Carriers such as FedEx and Purolator do not haul DG packages from Canada to the US via ground service. They do offer air but not ground. UPS which offers both air and ground does transport certain dangerous goods (just check for limitations on the UN# being shipped on UPS’s website under “UPS Dangerous Goods Acceptance Tool” prior to shipping) from Canada to the US but you must have a DG account set up with them.
What I have been advising for those clients who do not have a DG account set-up with their preferred carrier is to use a freight forwarder for their one-time small DG shipment going ground to the US. Freight forwarders are your logistic experts; however, some only deal with the coordinating transport of freight and some coordinate freight and customs brokerage. That’s something else to keep in mind that shipping doesn’t always include customs clearance.
I always tell our repackaging clients the DG preparation will be the easiest part; it is coordinating shipping and customs clearance that will cause you grief. Shipping, in general, can be painful but when you add “DG” to the equation it can make it even more difficult.
Dangerous Goods regulations require that you follow stringent procedures and provide specific documentation to ship many materials and products by land, sea, or air, in certified containers. With ICC’s in-depth knowledge of what documentation is mandatory, our UN approved packaging and product offerings, and our affiliation with leading transportation companies, we can pack and ship dangerous goods for you. Your shipments will make it safely to their destination and within the parameters of the law.