HAZMAT Shipping Supplies: Kinds of Hazardous Materials and How to Store Them

As a member of the IATA, ICAO, and IMO, the United States is required to comply with several regulations that govern the usage, storage, disposal, and transport of dangerous goods. Experts generally agree on nine classes of dangerous goods, which range from explosives to miscellaneous goods. HAZMAT shipping supplies are needed to store and transport many of these items. We describe some of these classes below.

Explosives. These are materials that are capable of producing gases at temperatures, pressures, and rates that could result in damage to life and property through massive force, light, smoke, or sound. As a general rule, explosives have to be kept away from moisture and extreme heat. In some cases, liquid explosives are not transported at all. Examples of this category include ammunition, primers, and flares.

Gases. Gases pose serious hazards due to their toxicity, explosiveness, corrosive or oxidizing properties, or flammability. Among the materials classified as gases are compressed gases, liquefied gases, dissolved gases, and aerosols. Examples include fire extinguishers, lighters, methane, and oxygen tanks.

Flammable Liquids. Flammable liquids are handled with care due to their volatility, ability to catch fire, and the potential damage that they could cause if a fire spreads easily. This class of hazardous material includes tars, resins, oils, alcohols, adhesives, paints, fuels, and petroleum-based products.

Flammable Solids. Like flammable liquids, flammable solids have to be kept away from open flames. In some cases, they also have to be stored separately from water and other liquids. Alkali metals and certain metal powders, for example, react rapidly with water, producing fire. This class includes phosphorus, sodium-based batteries, matches, sulfur, naphthalene, and activated carbon.

Oxidizers. While oxidizers do not directly cause fire, this class yields oxygen at a rapid rate, contributing to combustion while emitting heat. Many oxidizing compounds react dangerously with other substances, including human skin and flesh, and thus have to be stored away from people. This class includes nitrates, chlorates, nitrites, and certain fertilizers.

Toxic and Infectious Substances. These substances can pose significant health risks to animals and humans upon contact. Examples of this class are clinical waste, medical cultures, tear gas, compounds containing lead, mercury, cyanide, antimony, selenium, and acids.

Corrosive Substances. Members of this class cause the degradation or disintegration of other materials through chemical reactions upon contact. This class includes acids, some paints, iodine, bromine, sulfides, fluorides, and certain base substances.

Care must be taken to store and transport these hazardous materials using proper HAZMAT shipping supplies. For example, paint has to be stored in specially lined metal cans, while acids and other corrosives have to be stored in spill-proof plastic bottles or containers. The proper sealing and shockproofing techniques have to be followed as well, as any leakage could prove to be fatal to the vehicle and passengers alike.

Norman International produces and sells a range of HAZMAT shipping supplies for many classes of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. Our products are compliant with all major regulating codes and have been proven to be safe and leak-proof when used and sealed properly. To inquire about our product line, send us a message or call us at 800.289.8644.

UN4G Boxes and Other Packaging For Paint

Ship paint using Norman International’s various UN certified packaging systems. Our UN4G boxes come with everything you need such as ring locks, foam packs, and the can and lid. Our UN4G packaging systems are also available for bulk purchase so you can save on your shipping costs. All of our HAZMAT packaging products conform to the requirements specified by the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Whether you need to ship as much as 5 gallons or as few as a quart of paint, we have packaging products available in different configurations, sizes, and materials. Our foam packs are designed to absorb physical shock during transport, and we patented our own Normlock® rings for paint cans to ensure there are no spills and leaks.

For inquiries about our UN4G boxes and other UN4G packaging products, or to enlist our services for certification markings application upon successful testing of complete packages, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-289-8644 today!

Norman International for UN4G Boxes and Other Hazardous Material Packaging Requirements

Packages for shipping of hazardous material is not limited to UN4G boxes. Often, UN4G corrugated boxes are used in combination with other types of UN4G packaging such as paint cans and plastic jugs, to name a few. Norman International offers a full line of hazardous material packaging for convenience, safety, and strict compliance to packaging and shipping guidelines.

Apart from manufacturing various hazardous material packaging, we also custom design and test UN packing for Groups I, II, and III. We have been in the industry for more than five decades, and have the experience and expertise in manufacturing packaging containers based on UN specifications. In fact, our UN4G boxes and other packaging systems are accepted and recommended by all major national and international freight carriers, whether for land, sea, or air transport.

As one of the largest manufacturers of hazardous materials packaging products in the country, we have the UN4G packaging you need. Contact us at 800-289-8644 today!

When to Use UN4G Packaging or UN4GV Packaging

UN4G packaging is the most commonly used packaging for transporting dangerous goods. But did you know that there’s another packaging option available? Enter 4GV packaging.

So what’s the difference between the two, aside from the obvious extra letter? The main difference between the two UN-approved boxes lies in the type of inner packaging that can be put in the box.

UN4G boxes must reflect the packaging used in testing. This means that it should have the same inner packaging, the same arrangement of the contents, and the same closure of the box.

The UN4GV boxes on the other hand, do not require the exact inner packaging; the boxes can contain any type of inner packaging. There are some guidelines to note for using inner packaging in UN4GV: the minimum distances (filled with vermiculite) between inner packaging and the sides of the box, the gross weight of the inner packaging, and the gross weight of the package.

Why Is UN4G Packaging Regulated?

The transport of dangerous goods is regulated to prevent accidents to people or property and damage to the environment. UN4G packaging is the best solution for transporting goods of this kind. However, with a lot of different regulations in every country and for different modes of transport, you need to make sure that your packaging service is equipped with the proper certifications in order to transport these materials. Without the proper handling and shipping of dangerous goods, trade in chemicals and dangerous products would be affected. At the worst case scenario, shipping of these goods would be made impossible and unsafe.

Industries using UN4G packaging

The most commonly used dangerous goods include petrol, LPG, paints, pesticides, and acids. They can be packaged in plastic bottles, tin cans, tight head pails, and cartons. Any industry that would require these chemicals automatically needs to use UN4G packaging in order to safely transport these to their suppliers or customers. This would include automotive industries, paint businesses, pharmaceutical companies, exterminating companies, and more.

Shipping with UN 4G Boxes

Whether by sea or air, shipping dangerous goods or hazardous materials require UN 4G boxes or UN 4G packaging. These packaging supplies should meet international standards, and major carriers will often require further compliance to requirements set by regulators such as the International Aviation Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).

Generally, any UN 4G packaging will include relevant documents, specifically a test report and certificate containing all information on how to prepare the package, such as the method of assembly and closing. This applies to both single and combination packages which will bear similar marks indicating the type of package, material of construction, packing group, maximum gross weight, year of manufacture, origin of manufacture, and manufacture code.

For inquiries about our UN 4G boxes or to order UN 4G packaging in bulk, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-289-8644.

The Importance of Hazardous Material Packaging

When it comes to shipping hazardous materials, only the right packaging supplies should be used. Among the inconveniences one may encounter without proper hazardous material packaging are:

1. Delay in the shipment of your goods. Safe to say, you may expect couriers and other shipping services to reject your parcel isn’t packaged correctly or placed in material that doesn’t conform to standards.

2. Unnecessary additional expenses on initial packaging costs. This is because you can avoid spending more by getting the right packaging material the first time.

3. Legal liability for any damage or threat to the safety of delivery personnel.

Here at Norman International, we have developed a complete line of hazardous material packaging, notably UN 4G paint can shippers. Our line of products includes gallon and quart containers, plastic jug shippers, and vinyl radio frequency heat-sealed bags.

For inquiries about our UN specification packaging, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-289-8644; we’d be glad to hear from you.

Shipping Supplies: Understanding UN4G Markings on Shipping Supplies

The United States, as a member of the United Nations, is required to follow regulations that govern the transport and storage of hazardous materials. These include regulations that specify markings to be made on shipping supplies. The markings on a package indicate the kind of hazardous material contained within, the source of the hazardous material, the type of packaging, and other information that is useful in determining the best way to handle it.

When encountering a package that contains hazardous material, one sees a marking with a format similar to this:


Let’s break down the components of this marking. Each component specifies the following, in order:

  • UN symbol
  • Type of packaging and material used
  • Packing group and maximum gross mass in kilograms (for solids) OR specific gravity (for liquids)
  • Hydrostatic test pressure in kPA (for liquids) OR “S” for solids or combination packaging
  • Date of manufacture of the container
  • Authorizing mark of the state or country in which the container was manufactured
  • Manufacturer code

UN symbol. This indicates that the package has been tested and certified safe by the UN.

Type of packaging and material used. Each kind of packaging (drums and boxes) is assigned a number from 1-7, and each material is given a letter code from A-P. In our example above, the marking “4D” indicates that the box is made from plywood.

Packing group and mass.

The United Nations assigns materials to groups I, II, and III, in descending order of danger posed to transport and individuals. These are assigned the packaging marks “X,” “Y,” and “Z,” respectively, and thus gives shippers and handlers an idea of what they are transporting without having to open the package itself. The marking “Z8.1” in our example, therefore, means that the substance belongs to packing group III (least danger) and weighs at 8.1 kilograms.

Hydrostatic test pressure in kPA (for liquids or gases) OR “S” for solids or combination packaging. Hydrostatic pressure is the minimum atmospheric pressure at which a liquid substance will stay in liquid form. For our example, the marking “S” indicates that the box contains a solid substance.

Date of package manufacture.This component includes the last two digits of the year in which the package was manufactured. In our example, “08” means that the box was manufactured in 2008. Shippers and handlers check this component of the marking to ensure that the packaging is strong enough to stand the wear and tear of travel.

State or country of manufacture. Each country is assigned a three-letter code. The “USA” marking in our example indicates that the box was manufactured in the United States.

Manufacturer or certifying agency code. In the U.S., each manufacturer or testing agency of HAZMAT packaging is given a unique code by the Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The code “M5904” indicates that the packaging was manufactured in a plant in Ohio.

The code might seem hard to understand at first, but handlers and couriers of hazardous materials are trained very rigorously in reading these markings. At Norman International, we work hard to ensure that our products are compliant with all United Nations and federal regulations, and this includes making sure that markings are visible and readable. To know more about our shipping supplies for hazardous materials, contact us at 800.289.8644.