Shipping Terms Glossary

Shipping Terms Glossary
Dangerous Goods (Hazardous Goods)

Dangerous Goods (Hazardous Goods)

Dangerous Goods are goods containing chemical substances that pose a high threat to the health & safety of humans and the environment when handled incorrectly.

What are Dangerous Goods (DG)?

Dangerous Goods, commonly referred to as Hazardous Goods, are goods containing chemical substances that pose a high threat to the health & safety of humans and the environment when handled incorrectly during transportation.

Bookairfreight Tips:

"🚨 When transporting dangerous goods, make sure to package, seal, and transport them according to the regulations!"

What are some examples of Dangerous Goods?


Some common examples include poisonous substances, explosives, and flammable materials.

Shipping hazardous goods

Dangerous goods are classified based on factors such as flammability, corrosiveness, radioactivity, and toxicity.


The U.S. Department of Transportation has classified hazardous materials into 9 classes

Class 1: Explosives

Class 2: Gases

Class 3: Flammable Liquid and Combustible Liquid

Class 4: Flammable Solid, Spontaneously Combustible, and Dangerous When Wet

Class 5: Oxidizer and Organic Peroxide

Class 6: Poison (Toxic) and Poison Inhalation Hazard

Class 7: Radioactive

Class 8: Corrosive

Class 9: Miscellaneous


For more information on the 9 classes and their reporting standards click here.

How do you ship dangerous goods?

Is there special paperwork you need to fill out when shipping hazmats?

Yes, you'll need a Dangerous Goods Note(DGN). Your suppliers should know if the goods are dangerous and how to ship them, including all the paperwork that needs to be filled for Customs and the freight forwarders.

You’ll also need a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which contains information on the potential hazards of the goods (health, fire, reactivity, and environmental), and how to safely handle them.

Please check IATA's DG documentation checklists for the full details.

What labels do you need to be able to ship Dangerous Goods?

Dangerous Goods shipments need:

• A hazard label, to identify the risk coming from the package

• A UN Number, to identify the type of dangerous good in the shipment

Dangerous goods labels

Depending on the type of goods, you may also be required to add other stickers and labels on the box (e.g. fragile). Your freight carrier will be able to provide this information.

Are there packaging rules for shipping Dangerous Goods?


Different rules apply based on the type of Dangerous Goods, the amount, and the forwarder you choose.


Standard practice in the industry consists of 2 layers of packings: a primary layer of plastic with leak-proof lining, and a secondary layer of extra cushioning material to prevent the good from moving.


Bigger forwarders like DHL and FedEx mostly follow IATA’s regulations on packing and handling Dangerous Goods for air freight shipments.

Do you need to pay extra for shipping Dangerous Goods?

It really depends on the courier or freight carrier.

Some charge premium rates for dangerous goods, and some might even require you to buy insurance to cover the risk.

I have a shipment of electronic equipment containing lithium batteries, is it classified as a dangerous good?

Yes, but it may be exempt from the need for a formal declaration. Check IATA's Lithium Battery Guidance documentation.


Daisy Jiang

Proud Co-Founder and CEO of Bookairfreight. Shortly after starting to work in the world of logistics, I was astonished at how difficult and time consuming it was for businesses to get their hands on a simple air freight quote. I saw this as an opportunity to really make a difference in people’s lives, and felt like I had to do something. It was the spark that lit the fire of Bookairfreight’s creation.

Say goodbye to industry jargon.

Download our free shipping terms glossary! 👊💥

Best decision you made! Check your email for our download link.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You'll Also Love...

Take Your Logistics to the Next Level.

Sign up today for free and get access to 20% cheaper freight rates from top forwarders all over the world.

Hundreds of fast-growing e-commerce businesses are working with Bookairfreight.