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Does your business need dangerous goods shipping training?
November 30, 2021

There’s a lot of nuances regarding shipping regulations and compliance, even more so now that economic activity is starting to pick up in the new normal. Here at CARGOpak Corp., we prefer to keep things as simple as possible so our clients can make the right decisions for their business.

So to answer the above question — if your company handles anything that can be classified as hazmat material, yes, it definitely needs dangerous goods shipping training.

What is considered hazmat material?

In simplest terms, hazmat material is any item (whether gas, solid, or liquid) that can cause harm to any living organism or the environment when improperly stored, handled, or shipped. These hazardous items fall under nine classifications — you can see the full list on our blog post: What to know about hazardous materials shipping and training.

The shipping of dangerous goods is regulated at the global level. Individual countries and states also have their own set of basic standards by which shipping companies are obliged to comply.

Here in the U.S., the transport of hazmat material is governed by three primary regulations:

  • The IMDG Code for transport by Ocean
  • The ICAO Technical Instructions for transportation by Air
  • Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (U.S. regulation)

At the top of the international standards list is the need for specialized hazmat shipping training. Not meeting this requirement could result in heavy penalties for the company, as well as the potential danger for all parties involved in the shipping, handling, or storage of dangerous goods.

So who needs hazardous materials training in your company?

According to Section 171.8 of the 49 CFR, all hazmat employees must receive special training that covers four critical areas — general awareness training, function-specific or job-specific training, safety training, and security awareness training.

You might be thinking there are certain exceptions in this matter, so for the avoidance of doubt, let’s be clear about who this type of training is for. Any of your employees that have anything, no matter how little, to do with the handling, storing, or transportation of hazmat material needs to undergo specialized training.

“But my employees only received the freight. They didn't come in direct contact with the items…”

They still need general awareness training at least.

“My employee only reviewed the paperwork…”

They’re still classified as hazmat employees because their work directly affects the safety of the shipment and the people handling the transfer. At the very least, they need training on security awareness and safety measures.

What if my company doesn’t accept hazmat materials?

Some forms of training may still be required, such as recognition training or general awareness training. How else will your employees know what items not to accept, if they haven’t been trained on what to look for?

If you’re not sure about what types of training your business needs, it’s best to talk to a hazmat shipping consultant like CARGOpak Corp. They can help you stay compliant, especially now that regulations are expanding to include Covid-related items.

Sign up for dangerous goods shipping training with CARGOpak Corp.

For over 25 years, CARGOpak Corp. has been providing shipping business consulting and specialized transportation training. From SMBs to Fortune 500 corporations, we offer training that is designed to fit the individual needs of our clients, and at the same time, fulfill the training requirements laid down by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Our training programs are available in two formats.

Live webinars

These sessions are focused on keeping you and your team up to date on regulatory information and related matters. These classes typically last two to three hours and cover four major topics — nitrate films, limited quantities and consumer commodities, biological substances, and lithium batteries.

Attendees will be required to take a written test at the end of the session to demonstrate comprehension of the training materials. Certificates of attendance will also be issued upon completion of the program, which can be used to meet general hazmat compliance requirements.

On-site training

Our on-site classes include a systemic review of your company’s dangerous goods shipping policies and whether they adhere to DOT and other international organization requirements. If there are any lapses, we will work with your employees to create a customized, targeted strategy.

Fill out our form to get started

Stay compliant with dangerous goods shipping regulations and other best practices with CARGOpak Corp. We customize our training lessons to meet the specific needs of your organization. Get started by filling out our needs assessment form, so we can get to know your business better and what type(s) of training is required. You can also reach us by calling (919) 217-7636 or through email at

Man sealing a package for shipping