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How to Handle Hazardous or Perishable Goods when LTL Shipping

Posted on Apr 11, 2023 9:39:37 AM by Brandon Draga

For some businesses, getting goods from one place to another is a relatively simple and low-risk proposition.

Book your shipment, properly palletize your goods, and see them off to their eventual destination.

Shipping, however, is an industry that spans across nearly every modern industry, and for businesses who need to transport hazardous or perishable goods the process can require much more planning, and much higher stakes.

For LTL shippers who are new to the industry or unfamiliar with the process of shipping such goods, these stakes can seem even higher.

What are the most important things to know when handling and preparing such goods for an LTL shipment? That’s what we’re here to help you with in this article.


What are Hazardous or Perishable Goods?

Hazardous goods, also known as dangerous goods, are materials or substances that have the potential to cause harm to people, property, or the environment.

When these goods are being transported, they require special handling and packaging to ensure that they are safely delivered without causing any harm.

Some examples of hazardous goods include, but are not limited to:

explosive Explosives
flammable Flammable liquids and solids
corrosive Corrosive substances
Radioactive Radioactive materials
Biohazard Infectious substances


Perishable goods, on the other hand, are goods that have a limited shelf life and can spoil or deteriorate if not transported or stored properly.

These types of goods often require specific temperature-controlled environments and timely delivery to maintain their quality and freshness.

Some examples of perishable goods include, but are not limited to:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Meat and poultry
  • Seafood
  • Flowers and plants




What to Remember when Shipping Hazardous or Perishable Goods

Please note: individual carriers have their own policies regarding what goods they will and will not transport. Freightcom strictly adheres to these individual policies whenever shipments are booked though the Freightcom platform. Please contact one of our shipping experts for more information about what goods can and cannot be shipped.


1. Use Proper Packaging Techniques

Make sure that hazardous or perishable goods are packed and labeled appropriately.

Use proper packaging materials such as leak-proof containers, absorbent materials, and insulation to ensure that the goods are not damaged or pose a risk to other shipments during transit.

It is also vital that your goods are properly stacked on and secured to your pallets to ensure they do not move during transit.


2. Comply with Regulations

Rules and regulations exist for every mode of shipping across the world, however when shipping hazardous or perishable goods all parties involved in the shipment must exercise extra diligence.

Make sure that the shipment complies with all the applicable regulations regarding the handling, transportation, and labeling of hazardous or perishable goods.

In Canada, these regulations are set by Transport Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

It is highly recommended that if you are shipping hazardous goods, that you take a hazmat shipping course to familiarize yourself with all the regulations and packaging requirements.


Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia


3. Ship with the Right Carrier

Having a multi-carrier shipping strategy is a wise decision for several reasons, not least of all because different carriers have different strengths.

As noted above, what goods can and cannot be shipped will vary by carrier, and so when shipping hazardous or perishable goods diversifying your carriers is practically mandatory.

It’s important to select a carrier that has experience and expertise in handling hazardous or perishable goods. Note that some carriers also do not provide these services.

Look for a carrier that has proper equipment, such as refrigerated trailers or hazardous materials transport vehicles, and trained personnel to handle the goods safely.


4. Plan Ahead

Time sensitivity is something that must be accounted for when shipping hazardous or perishable goods.

This is especially true of perishable goods, as a late delivery could result in spoilage of your entire order or a reduced shelf life.

Consider using expedited or specialized services, if necessary, to ensure that the goods are delivered on time.

Please note that carriers will always deem shipments with perishable goods as “Shippers Risk”. This means the shipment would not be eligible for a claim.


5. Keep an Ongoing Line of Communication

The more sensitive a shipment is to transport, the more vital it is to keep in communication with the carrier to ensure that they have all the necessary information about the shipment.

This process begins with ensuring that documents such as your bill of lading (BOL) provide detailed instructions about the handling, loading, and unloading of the goods.

It is further important to keep in touch with the carrier to track the shipment's progress and ensure that any issues are addressed promptly.


Let Freightcom Help You Handle All Your Goods with Ease

Even with the simplest LTL shipments, there can be so much to manage on your own.

With Freightcom, you can not only make your day-to-day shipping faster and easier, but you get to save your business money at the same time!

Freightcom is the all-in-one shipping management platform that provides businesses with discounted, real-time rates on LTL and parcel shipping from North America’s leading carriers.

We help you quote, book, ship, and track all your shipments in one place, saving your business time and money, all for zero upfront or monthly fees!

Contact one of our shipping experts today and make sure every shipment you make is booked with complete confidence.

Book a Demo

Topics: Shipping Tips, LTL

Brandon Draga

Written by Brandon Draga

Brandon Draga is a full-time content writer at Freightcom, the leading shipping solution for businesses in Canada. When Brandon is not writing content to help businesses with their shipping needs, he can be found at local skate parks or writing fantasy novels.

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