The beginner’s guide to shipping hazardous materials via rail
Are you interested in shipping dangerous cargo and are still not sure if rail transport is the best option for you? Perhaps you’re not quite aware of what the process of transporting hazardous materials via rail entails. If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to find that we’ve put together a short guide of the basic notions of the entire shipping operation. Here’s everything you need to know about transporting hazardous goods on short or long distances with the help of trains and wagons:
What are hazardous materials?
By definition, hazardous merchandise refers to products and goods that require special care and strict conditions during the handling, storing and transporting processes. The main overarching categories of dangerous materials include explosives, non-flammable gas, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidizers, poison, corrosive and radioactive materials, along with other dangerous goods.
The set of carefully-established rules and regulations help protect the shipped cargo from any type of destruction (including fires, explosions and other occurrences) and ascertain the safety of the personnel handling the shipping process. By following the exact prerequisites, one can make sure that there is no damage done to the rolling stock, the railway installations or the environment. These are only a few of the motives because of which dangerous cargo should only be handled and moved by professionals.
Your obligations as a sender of hazardous goods
As the sender of dangerous merchandise, you and your company are responsible for identifying, packaging, marking and labeling, handling, loading, unloading and maneuvering the goods in question. You are required to ensure that the cargo is classified correctly and is authorized for transportation. This documentation needs to be handed over to the organization responsible for freight operations.
You can only use authorized packaging suitable for transport, which is in line with international shipping and packaging rules and regulations. Proper labeling, handling of merchandise and loading also falls on you, along with making sure that the equipment which helps you in these processes are in good technical conditions and the dates of the said equipment’s next revisions are not exceeded. When dealing with loading the cargo, you need to take into consideration the emergency procedures in case of an unfortunate incident.
Besides the completion of these obligations for which you are responsible, we highly recommend taking up an insurance policy for the transported goods, in order to have peace of mind that whatever unforeseen circumstances might happen on the road, your cargo can be compensated.
Our obligations as your partner in rail transport
As rail operators, we have an obligation to verify the goods authorized for transport and complete the necessary documentation and the authorizations that will accompany the cargo. Our staff ensures secure transportation services to all our clients. However, in the instance of unforeseen irregularities, which can compromise the safety of the transported goods, the shipment will be stopped and the situation will be fixed in order to resume the journey as soon as possible.
Rail personnel are thoroughly instructed about not only regular procedures, but also about emergency intervention and security plans, to be prepared for any and every scenario. This means that besides the basic training, they receive complementary guidance so they’re prepared to handle any situation.
We are responsible for executing the shipping and the integrity of the goods throughout the entire transportation journey. The freight transport company is, however, exempt of being responsible for any alterations, degradations, leakage or theft the cargo might suffer during the sipping process.
If you’re interested in transporting hazardous goods via rail transport, we invite you to contact us via phone or email to discuss the exact details of your shipment and a possible collaboration with MMV Rail Romania.