The strike of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the demand for hand-sanitizers and other cleansing items. Hence, due to such great demand, there has been a shortage of supplies of sanitizing items at the store shelves, due to which many people are searching for how to ship disinfecting wipes or sanitizers safely. Does the question arise why we need to be careful while shipping such items? The answer is, these items consist of flammable alcohols such as rubbing alcohol like isopropanol and/or ethanol. These items are potentially hazardous and flammable, therefore they must be shipped as per all the standard guidelines which are followed for other hazardous products while they are shipped.
USPs, FedEx, and UPS have outlined a few guidelines which state how these items should be shipped.
Regardless, always check with your local officers about the recently updated and accurate regulations.
Before digging into all the regulation first let’s discuss what hazardous item is. If an item is causing harm to your carrier package, damaging packages or sorting machinery during transit, explode or combust for any reasons like friction or temperature change or chemical change or emitting powerful odor falls in this category.
Previously such products were not delivered on a day-to-day basis but due to the current situation it has become prominent and hence you should be aware of all the standards imposed for shipping such items. Let’s check the guidelines imposed by USPs, UPS, FedEx, DHL.
Compact or portable quantities of these products (alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers), which are potentially hazardous and flammable, are permitted in domestic mail through surface transportation. This ultimately means that Expedited Shipping services like Priority mails cannot be used here for shipping.
Various primary receptacles are qualified, provided that the total quantity of flammable items per mail should not exceed 1 pint for Non-metal containers and 1 quart for metal primary containers. Mostly the hand sanitizers come in Non-metallic containers like plastic therefore the latter quantity of one pint is applicable.
Pinning down the guidelines set by USPs for shipping alcohol wipes and sanitizers:
• Sanitization products such as Alcohol wipes and Hand Sanitizers are forbidden in APO
(Army Post Office), International, FPO (Fleet Post Office), and DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) mail.
• Sanitization products, in small quantity, can be sent via domestic mail-in ST (Surface Transportation) only by Parcel Select Lightweight, USPS Retail Ground.
• Using ST (Surface Transportation) customers can ship only one pint of liquid per package.
Those who want to do domestic Air transportation of the products will be required to submit a request and also obtain authorization in writing, from the product classification manager at [email protected]
USPS requires there must be a clear identification of hazardous materials and perishable or restricted products in the address line of the mail piece. Each and every mail piece that is qualified under the provision of small quantity and which can be sent must be addressed on the address side and it should include the following words:
• Surface Mail Only and Consumer Commodity ORM-D.
Even before the pandemic, UPS use to accept dangerous or hazardous materials shipping on a contract basis. In order to avail of this service, one must:
• Create, if doesn’t have already, a profile on ups.com
• Possess an account for the payment.
• Be in compliance with UPS’s variations in the carrier and all regulatory requirements.
To be in compliance the customers must purchase a third-party software that is approved or must use UPS World Ship.
Pinning down the regulations that must be familiar to you for shipping with UPS
Non-bulk quantities of hazardous goods items are accepted by UPS for transport via air-modes or highway-railway modes of transportation.
The HMR (Hazardous Material Regulation), which is issued by the ICAO (International Civil Association of Aviation) and for airway shipping IATA (International Air Transport Association), must be followed while preparing shipments.
There is a prohibition of hazardous or dangerous materials at the Commercial counters, UPS stores, Air Letter Centers or Authorized Shipping Outlets, and UPS Customer Centers.
UPS provides a Hazardous Good Acceptance Tool, for making things easier, which gives detailed information about the maximum quantities and the posed level of danger in your shipment.
The packages containing dangerous goods items require a Declaration from the Shipper for hazardous goods. Also, depending on the contents, handling fees may be applied.
FedEx, using their services, allows each one to ship approved hazardous or dangerous items. As per the FedEx website, training must be provided to the shippers while shipping hazardous goods items. And if this is not possible then another company or person must do the shipment on their behalf with appropriate training.
Pinning down the guidelines you must follow when accompanied by FedEx for shipping
• The Hand-Sanitizers that are prepared under the PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) temporary notice relief, can be shipped through FedEx Ground.
• If your Shipment contains up to 70% EA (Ethyl Alcohol) than it must meet the following requirements:
Glass Inner Receptacles – This contains hand sanitizer, up to 0.23L or less. On the package, the name of the company must be mentioned along with the label “Contains Ethyl Alcohol” and about 0.47 L of Glass Inner Receptacles can be shipped.
Non-Glass Inner Receptacles – The sanitizer contained in the non-glass inner receptacle is 0.47 L or less.
• If your shipment contains more than 70% EA (Ethyl Alcohol) than it must meet the following requirements:
Hand-Sanitizers about eight ounces or less are contained in Inner Receptacles.
Per package, there should be only a total of 192 ounces or less of hand-sanitizer.
The per-package gross weight is 66 pounds.
For the prevention of product movement, the inner packaging must be cushioned and secured. This will also avoid any breakage or leakage during transit.
• DHL follows the pre-established Hazardous Goods Regulation for shipping, like the International Civil Association of Aviation (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA).
• The packages must be correctly marked, packaged, and labelled with all the required documents.
• Hazardous goods shipments come with additional handling charges.
In the current situation, shipping hand sanitizers and alcohol wipes may seem like a noble cause but it is compulsory to follow all the rules so that everyone can be safe.
The demand for sanitizing products would only keep on increasing. Major customers are buying through online services, therefore the e-commerce retailers must be pre-aware of all the restrictions, regulations imposed.
If in doubt, don’t worry, the Shipyaari team has your back!