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Handling of Special Cargo

Handling of Special Cargo

Live Animals

  • General conditions for the transport of live animals
  • Animals must:
    • Never be transported in a way likely to cause them unnecessary fear, injury, damage to health or undue suffering;
    • Be checked for fitness for transport before loading.

Live Animals

  • General conditions for the transport of live animals
  • An animal that is injured or that has physiological weaknesses or pathological problems should not be considered fit for transport especially if:
    • it is unable to move independently without pain;
    • it has a severe open wound, or prolapse;
    • it is a pregnant female for whom 90 % or more of the expected gestation period has already passed;
    • it is a female that has given birth in the previous week;
    • it is a new-born mammal in which the navel has not completely healed;
    • it is a cervid in velvet.

Perishable Goods

  • Shipping perishables via air freight requires compliance with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) perishable cargo rules. 
  • The IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations Manual covers all of the major rules you’ll need to know, including comprehensive listings and rules for hundreds of item types, plus valuable advice on how to build a safe and robust cold chain operation. 
  • Maritime perishables shipping has less specific guidance than some other types, but all maritime shippers should make sure that their cargo follows relevant regulations from the International Maritime Association. 

Packaging Perishables

  • Most businesses that ship perishables use these common packaging methods to achieve temperature control:
    • Insulated Packaging 
    • Leak-Proof Packaging
    • Airtight Packaging
    • Phase Change Materials
    • Dry Ice 

Handling Dangerous Goods

Packing and packaging of Dangerous Goods

  • The appropriate packaging is dependent on the Packing Group of the material. 
  • The Packing Group is a grouping of substances (other than those in Hazard Class 2, Class 6 Division 2, and Class 7), in accordance with the degree of danger they present:
    • Packing group I: substances presenting high danger;
    • Packing group II: substances presenting medium danger; and
    • Packing group III: substances presenting low danger.
  • UN specification packaging, or Performance Oriented Packaging (POP), is required for most air shipments of dangerous goods. 

Requirements regarding handling, loading and labelling of Dangerous Goods (ADR regulations) 

  • On a national level, most countries provide laws and regulations for the handling of Dangerous Goods. 
  • The hazardous nature, however, requires international coordination, which is done by the UN. Most dangerous goods regulations refer to the UN nomenclature and classifications, so does the Accord européen relatif au transport international des merchandises Dangereuses par Route (ADR). 
  • The ADR contains all necessary information that has to be regarded when transporting dangerous goods by road.

Dangerous Goods Forms

  • Dangerous goods forms have to be filled in and signed by the shipper, in any case and in any mode of transport. 
  • The form must not be signed by the forwarder, since he is neither the manufacturer, nor retailer of the dangerous product, nor is he a chemist. 
  • Dangerous cargo should not be accepted without a Dangerous Goods Declaration of the shipper.

A Dangerous Goods Declaration according to the ADR should contain:

  • The proper shipping name (primarily technical name, no brand name)
  • UN number beginning with UN XXXX, for example, UN 1230
  • The packing group according to the UN number. The number and type of packages (IBCs, if applicable)
  • The total quantity of dangerous goods (volume or mass, in some cases, net mass, as listed in ADR)
  • The name or address and contact person by name with the telephone number of the consignor or shipper
  • The name or address and contact person by name with the telephone number of the consignee

DG class and the sub-category, if applicable

  • In container transport the DGD and/or waybill is to be supplemented by a Container Packing Certificate.
  • Dangerous goods are packaged according to three groups:
    • Group I Greater danger, most protective packaging required   
    • Note: For some combinations of different classes of dangerous goods with at least one being group I loading on the same transportation (truck or container) is prohibited.
    • Group II Medium danger
    • Group III Low danger among regulated goods, least protective packaging within the transportation requirements.

Out of Gauge Cargo

Requirements for Carriage of out of gauge movements (weight or dimensions)

  • Out of gauge transportation requires the following:
    • Planning of equipment,
    • Determining the itineraries for the project,
    • Performing customs clearance and insurance operations,
    • Making the crane organization,
    • Loading and discharging operations,
    • Obtaining passage permits,
    • Arranging escort
    • Preparing daily and weekly schedules and sharing them with the customers.

Learning Activities

You are an employ of forwarding based in Kampala with extensive domestic network and you are responsible for operations dealing with project cargo. You receive the following inquiry from Total Uganda Ltd; they have a consignment of a huge pipe to be cleared at the port of Mombasa and transported to their head office in Kampala. They want a detailed counselling on how you can execute the project.


  1. Describe all your considerations in selection of the vehicle
  2. Explain the documents required to transport the consignment and which other documents needed by the truck/the driver
  3. Explain the planning process regarding clearance and transportation of the cargo


  1. List and explain at least five (5) types of special cargoes giving two examples in each type.
  2. Describe in full detail the contents of a Dangerous Goods form according to ADR.
  3. Discuss the critical logistical considerations before handling out of gauge cargo.
  4. Discuss the critical logistical considerations before transporting a live animal.