Shipping Papers

Shipping papers are documents that can be used by first responders to learn about materials loaded aboard any type of transport vehicle. Although the term “shipping paper” is found in the Code of Federal Regulations that govern transportation of hazardous materials, those engaged in highway transportation may refer to shipping papers by other names that include bill of lading, delivery receipt, shipping order, or delivery confirmation.

Shipping papers for items regulated as hazardous materials will include very specific types of information while shipments of “unregulated” materials may not be accompanied by documentation of any kind or the information available may be limited. There may be only one or two shipping papers on a truck when transporting bulk shipments intended for one or two deliveries, or there may be numerous shipping papers on trucks that contain “miscellaneous” shipments intended for delivery to several different locations. This latter situation is sometimes referred to as trucks carrying “LTL” or “less-than-truckload” shipments.

Shipping papers for shipments of hazardous materials regulated by the federal transportation regulations will usually include the following types of information for each regulated item:

  • Proper shipping name of the material 
  • Hazard class and four-digit identification number
  • Total quantity of materials
  • Number and type of packages
  • Packing Group
  • Emergency response telephone number

In addition to this information for each regulated hazardous material shipment, shipping papers will also include:

  • Shipper (origin)
  • Consignee (destination)
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