Infographic | Unpacking the Mysteries of DG Packaging

Why is hazmat packaging so complex? And how do you get it right?

Read on to learn what regulations govern Dangerous Goods packaging and how to interpret them. A packaging partner with deep expertise can help you think “inside the box,” and keep your shipments safe and compliant.

Unpacking the Mysteries of DG Packaging

What seems like a simple objective—ensuring the packaging used for Dangerous Goods shipments will prevent the escape of the materials (solids, liquids or gasses) contained within—gets very complicated very quickly.
Wrong Packaging
And using the wrong or substandard packaging can lead to a host of negative outcomes:
  • Rejected shipments (and unhappy customers)
  • Fines ($500–$16,500 per violation)
  • Negative press for your company
  • Injuries, death and property damage

Getting started

So, where do you begin to find out what kind of packaging will be required.
There you’ll find packaging guidelines for most every category of Dangerous Goods that doesn’t explode or emit radiation.
Combination Packagings

Measuring Up

The next step is to ensure you’re using packaging that’s UN-certified. That means it’s been tested by an appropriate authority to withstand possible conditions encountered during transport. Examples include:
Packaging tests


All packaging for DG shipments—whether it’s standard packaging off the shelf or something custom-created for your needs—must be UN-certified.

A Note About Packing Groups

When you’re browsing all the packaging options out there, you’ll come across the term

“Packing Group,”

which describes the relative degree of danger a material represents. You’ll need to know this when picking your packaging.

Safety Data Sheet

You can usually find the Packing Group in section 14 of your Safety Data Sheet (SDS), or look in the Hazardous Materials Table in 49 CFR Part 172, find your material and look at column 5, where you’ll see a I, II or III.

Packaging Groups

Then, make sure the packaging you select is approved for the specified Packing Group or higher (i.e., Group III
shipments can go in packaging rated for Group II or Group I, but not the other way around).

All the right packaging. All the right answers.

Labelmaster offers a complete line of Performance Plus brand UN-certified packaging components and kits to meet nearly any DG shipping need for every mode of transportation. And we can offer expert guidance on the selection and use of these solutions.
In-stock inventory
In-stock inventory of popular UN packaging for immediate shipment
Packing Kits
Combination packaging kits assembled or unassembled, with or without inner containers
Customized packaging
Customized packaging

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Infographic | Unpacking the Mysteries of DG Packaging

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  1. Jeff Christafore said:

    I believe that the statement made in this article stating, “All packaging for DG shipments—whether it’s standard packaging off the shelf or something custom-created for your needs—must be UN-certified”, could be misleading. Although it is true in many cases, not all DG shipments are required to be in UN certified packaging. There are products that can be transported in strong outer packaging which is not UN Certified. Sometimes this is because the inner packaging is required to meet certain standards. Some items not required to be in UN certified packaging are fire extinguishers, life-saving appliances, fuel system components classified as Dangerous goods in machinery and lithium batteries contained in equipment. Also limited quantity shipments, which are also DG shipments, do not require UN certified packaging, although for air they do require certain drop and stacking tests.