• Overpacks 101
  • Karen

    Karen D. Hamel, CSP, WACH, is a regulatory compliance professional, trainer and technical writer for New Pig. She has more than 22 years of experience helping EHS professionals find solutions to meet EPA, OSHA and DOT regulations and has had more than 100 articles published on a variety of EHS topics. Karen is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder (WACH), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainer and hazmat technician. She also serves on the Blair County, Pa., LEPC and has completed a variety of environmental, safety, emergency response, DOT and NIMS courses, including Planning Section Chief. She has conducted seminars at national conferences and webinars for ASSE and other national organizations. She can be reached at 1-800-HOT-HOGS (468-4647) or by email karenea@newpig.com.

  • Shawnsays:
    09/16/2016 at 7:05 pm Reply

    When making an overpacks with containers that contain liquids, do the inner containers have to be dot approved?

    • Karensays:
      09/22/2016 at 12:24 pm Reply

      Hi Shawn,

      No, the inner containers do not need to meet DOT shipping requirements. They do, however, need to be intact, non-leaking and of sufficient strength to withstand the rigors of transportation. To help ensure that the inner container or containers remain intact, DOT requires cushioning and absorbent materials to help prevent inner containers from breaking and to absorb liquids if an inner container does happen to break while the container is in transit.


  • Andresays:
    12/29/2016 at 3:39 am Reply

    Hi, i have 5 packages that contain lithium batteries all of them go to Japan but later on they are delivered to 5 different end Customers, therefore is it.required to declare pallet as an overpack?

    • Karensays:
      01/04/2017 at 8:23 am Reply

      Hi Andre, thanks for your question.

      There are a couple of considerations when you’re overpacking hazardous materials for shipment. For example, if the inner packages of batteries are each properly marked, not fragile and each inner package does not weigh more than 20 kilograms, you can shrink or stretch wrap the pallet [49 CFR 173.25(b)].

      If you are placing the inner packages in a box or other type of overpack container that does not allow visibility of the inner packages, you should follow the requirements in 49 CFR 173.25(a), which require the overpack to be:

      • Marked with the proper shipping name and ID number
      • Labeled as required for the hazardous material in the packages
      • Marked appropriately with orientation marking arrows
      • Marked with the word “OVERPACK” in letters at least 12 mm high

      Because you’ll be shipping this internationally, other regulations may apply, especially because you’re shipping lithium batteries.

      Hope this information helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave another comment.


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