Most of us are pros at shipping boxes through UPS or a pallet through one of Unishippers’ freight carrier partners. Wrap, snap, and done. But what about when you have something a little bit more unusual to ship? We’ve got you covered with a few FAQs for shipping difficult or dangerous items.
Can I ship dangerous goods or hazardous materials?
Often you can, depending on the type of item. UPS and many of Unishippers’ freight carrier partners will accept dangerous goods or hazardous materials, such as batteries, ammunition, medical items, and more if they are properly packaged and you comply with applicable regulations.
Unishippers’ Freight Manager allows you to indicate if your shipment is potentially hazardous. It will provide you with extremely useful tool tips on shipping hazardous items and the appropriate paperwork you will need to fill out, such as the correct ID number, hazardous class number, and appropriate packaging group. Freight Manager will walk you through the entire process, but we also recommend that you take advantage of your Unishippers office’s expertise to help you navigate the world of shipping hazardous and dangerous materials and goods.
What if I want to ship something of an unusual size or shape?
No problem. UPS has set established dimension limits for the size of packages. If your shipment is larger than UPS’s limits, consider shipping it through UPS Freight or one of Unishippers’ other carrier partners.
When measuring an irregularly shaped package, treat it as if it were in a rectangular box and measure it from its most extreme points. UPS’s guidelines are as follows:
- Packages can be up to 150 lbs.
- Packages can be up to 165 inches in length and girth combined.
- Packages with a large size-to-weight ratio require special pricing and dimensional weight calculations.
There are other considerations beyond just the size or shape of your unusual package, including potential stackability issues for freight shipments. Your Unishippers office has helped customers ship packages and freight of just about every shape and size, and are ready to help you in any way with your unusually shaped shipments.
Should I get insurance if I’m shipping something unusual or valuable?
We definitely recommend it! Even if you aren’t shipping something unusual or very valuable, Unishippers recommends adding insurance, which provides a much higher degree of protection than standard carrier liability. When you are preparing a shipment, you have the opportunity to declare a value for its contents and purchase shipment insurance. If you choose not to purchase insurance, the freight carrier will automatically apply only their standard liability if your unusual shipment is lost or damaged. These liability limits are generally very low, and adding insurance will give you peace of mind for your shipment.
Business Shipping FAQs
Below are answers to common shipping questions as they pertain to small and medium sized businesses.
Can I ship alcohol via UPS?
Yes, you can ship beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages with UPS with your UPS account. Learn about the UPS® Wine Program if you are interested in shipping wine on a regular basis. Keep in mind, there may be destination restrictions to areas (such as the state of Utah) that don’t allow alcohol shipping. You will also need to have proper packaging, clear labeling, and an adult signature required.
Can I ship hand sanitizer UPS?
Yes, you can ship hand sanitizer with a UPS account and a hazardous material contract. Hand sanitizer is considered hazardous because most are alcohol-based, which means flammable and must be handled with care. You must also review and abide by the Dangerous Goods Agreement Checklist. For small shipments of hand sanitizer within the United States (not including Hawaii and Alaska), you may not need to ship under contract.
Can I ship liquids?
Yes, you can ship liquids provided they are non-flammable, non-hazardous, and not transported in glass containers. You’ll want to ship liquids in watertight containers, place absorbent material between primary and secondary receptacles, and use a sturdy putter packaging.
Can I ship guns via UPS?
Yes, you can ship firearms (including handguns) but only through a UPS Scheduled Pickup Account (specifically, Daily Pickup, Daily On-Route Pickup, UPS Smart Pickup®, and Day-Specific Pickup), or through a UPS Customer Center (counters at UPS operational facilities). When you are shipping a package that contains a handgun, you must verbally notify the UPS driver or UPS Customer Center clerk.
If you have any additional questions about shipping unusual or dangerous items, just reach out to your Unishippers office. Happy shipping!
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Freight Class Tips to Know
When you schedule a shipment without first determining the proper freight class, there’s a good chance your shipping quote won’t match your final invoice. By taking time to understand the freight classification system, you’ll be able to classify your freight correctly and avoid surprises down the road.