Guide to Transporting HazMat Fireworks within the United States - Ascent

Guide to Transporting HazMat Fireworks Within the United States

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Many fireworks are classified as dangerous goods, also known as hazardous materials (HazMat). It’s no surprise that the transportation process for dangerous goods, such as fireworks, is drastically different compared to general cargo. The transportation of dangerous goods requires additional responsibilities, documentation, reporting, identification, packaging, marking, placarding and training. Below are the most important things you need to know.

Understand your responsibilities

Hazardous cargo shippers are responsible for the following criteria when shipping fireworks:

  • Determining whether a material meets the definition of “hazardous material”
  • Proper shipping name
  • Class/Division
  • Identification number
  • Hazard warning label
  • Packaging
  • Marking
  • Employee training
  • Shipping papers
  • Emergency response information
  • Emergency response telephone number
  • Certification
  • Compatibility
  • Blocking and bracing
  • Placarding
  • Security pan
  • Incident reporting

Know the class and division of your fireworks

Hazardous materials are divided into nine classes, which depend on the nature of the product. Some of the classes are further divided up based on specific criteria. Most commonly, fireworks are considered Class 1.4 (represents minor explosion hazard) if the fireworks are deemed hazardous materials. Below is a list of the classes of dangerous goods:

  • Class 1: Explosives
  • Class 2: Gases
  • Class 3: Flammable Liquid
  • Class 4: Flammable Solids
  • Class 5: Oxidizing Substances; Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6: Poisonous (Toxic) and Infectious Substances
  • Class 7: Radioactive Material
  • Class 8: Corrosives
  • Class 9: Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Know which organizations or regulations you need to comply with

Different organizations regulate the transportation of dangerous goods contingent upon the mode of transportation. The U.S. Department of Transportation governs the transport of dangerous cargo via truck and rail within the U.S.

Regulations for hazardous cargo varies depending on the mode of transportation. Airfreight is the most restrictive as certain classes are entirely forbidden to travel via air. Additionally, particular classes can only be transported on cargo flights. Moreover, there are certain ocean carriers and over-the-road trucking firms which will not handle hazardous cargo. Within the U.S., many terminals and carriers have specific time frames in which the dangerous goods must be moved off the site.

Know which over-the-road carriers can move hazardous materials in the U.S.

While this is not a comprehensive list, below are some of the most common national carriers which move hazardous materials:

  • AAA Cooper
  • XPO
  • Estes
  • FedEx Freight Priority
  • FedEx Freight Economy
  • Holland
  • Roadrunner Freight
  • Yellow
  • Saia
  • Southeastern Freightlines
  • Ward
  • R&L Carriers

Have the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods ready

Regardless of the transportation mode, the origin shipper must complete a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods. This form must be completed and submitted to the carrier before the cargo will be loaded upon a vessel, plane, truck or train.

Understand that additional fees will apply

Typically, there are special fees associated with hazardous cargo transportation and handling. Carriers, terminals, ports, warehouses, exam sites and insurance companies can charge additional fees for dangerous goods. 

To learn more about transporting non-hazardous or hazardous materials fireworks within the United States, please contact our team.


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