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Free Guide to Shipping Hazardous Materials

What does the DOT require for safe transportation of hazardous materials? This guide explains the basics of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

  • Gives context for the rules — where they came from, and who they apply to
  • Describes the labels and placards required for marking shipments
  • Covers other markings like shipping names and identification numbers
  • Explains shipping papers and recordkeeping requirements

  • Understand the DOT’s hazard classes

  • Know what labels are needed for your shipments

  • Limit accidents with safe practices

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Introduction to Shipping Hazardous Materials

Across the United States, thousands of shipments of hazardous materials are carried every day. Keeping these shipments safe, and protecting the communities they pass through, requires careful work. How can you be sure your chemicals are classified, packaged, labeled, and handled safely? Start with a free guide to the Department of Transportation’s rules for shipping dangerous chemicals: the HMR.


See what each classification really means, and how the different marking and documentation requirements interact. Understand the overlaps between the DOT’s rules and other chemical labeling systems, like GHS and HazCom 2012. This guide will help you comply with the law, and make your shipments safer.

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Shipping Hazardous Materials Guide