Case Study: Special air freight of hazardous materials for aerospace
28 November 2016
The transport of dangerous materials requires specialist knowledge. Regulations surrounding this type of transport are very strict, especially for anything to do with air freight. Last month we took on a unique transport contract related to this: a shipment of Anhydrous Ammonia bound for Florida. This is an extremely flammable material for which international air transportation is forbidden. Indeed, a real challenge for our team!
Airlines rarely transport dangerous substances
The original aim was to fly the Anhydrous Ammonia from Belgium to Florida, where this dangerous substance would be used in the aerospace industry. Because there was no air carrier in Belgium prepared to carry this out, our client has moved the task to the Netherlands.
Ritra Cargo’s first undertaking was to source a company willing to transport such a dangerous substance. In the Netherlands this is a tricky task. Only flights carrying cargo alone can be factored in. All passenger flights were out of bounds, and these are estimated to account for 90-95% of flights.
70 grams of product requires 39 kilos of packaging
Ultimately, one airline was found that was willing to fly the Anhydrous Ammonia from Amsterdam to Florida. With such a product there are strict requirements with respect to packaging. 70 grams of Anhydrous Ammonia had to be packed in a lead pipe and then further covered by a crate, all weighing 39 kilograms. Only then could the item be loaded on board the aircraft.
In addition, special permissions were needed, because movement is not permitted for all hazardous substances. In the case of Anhydrous Ammonia, the American authorities themselves have their own application process. They had to authorise the transport, in addition to the Dutch government.
In the end, the cargo was successfully delivered to its final destination. Due to the success of this experiment, a decision was made to fly monthly shipments of Anhydrous Ammonia from the Netherlands to Florida next year. There, the substance will be analysed and assessed for quality. If this is not sufficient, we can also ensure that any returned Anhydrous Ammonia is flown back.
Transportation of dangerous substances requires expertise
Our air freight division organises shipments of dangerous substances on a daily basis, such as flammable fluids, caustic and toxic substances. Such transport calls for various packaging requirements and separate documentation. In addition, the transporter in charge of the goods must ensure the proper certification is there.
Do you need to transport dangerous substances from A to B? Our specialists are trained in this area and have years of experience behind them. They will therefore ensure that your delivery arrives at its destination quickly and without issue. We would be delighted to tell you more about these services.
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