Home » Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air: A Semiconductor Case Study

Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air: A Semiconductor Case Study

by | Apr 26, 2022 | Blog Post

Shipping dangerous goods by air is a significant challenge by itself. Throw in pandemic-related flight restrictions and a strict, in-transit temperature requirement of –18C and it created a serious situation that threatened to disrupt manufacturing operations for one of the world’s leading semiconductor parts manufacturers.  Here’s how the company solved the problem.

Maintaining Factory Output Despite Disrupted Supply Lines

Pre-pandemic, this manufacturer was moving a critical raw material, classified as a dangerous good (DG), from Shanghai directly to one of its factories in Cebu – an island in the Philippines. But with pandemic-related flight restrictions, direct service was no longer possible. That meant switching to a multi-leg, multi-carrier solution for shipping dangerous goods by air.

Because the door-to-door lifespan of the cargo cooling agent, dry ice, is just 72 hours, the extended, multi-leg journey required re-packing the cargo with new dry ice during the journey. Some of the company’s freight forwarding partners failed to deliver the needed air freight capacity for DG and to maintain a –18C temperature from origin to final delivery.

Dimerco, which had worked with this company on other shipping projects, was asked to assist.

Solution for Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air Freight

For this difficult route, Dimerco determined that a Shanghai-to-Hong Kong-to-Manila-to-Cebu routing would be the fastest, most reliable route given the severely scaled-back flight schedules. And, since flights from Hong Kong to Manila were less frequent, Dimerco’s Hong Kong office had to pull cargo from the HKG air freight terminal and hire a professional DG company to re-pack the dry ice at a nearby airport facility. The cargo was then moved back to a cold storage room to sustain the required temperature until the next leg of the journey.

The diagram below shows the steps in the routing process.

shipping dangerous goods air

On the final day, the dangerous goods moved from Hong Kong to Manila and then to the company’s facility in Cebu. Prior to arrival in the Philippines, Dimerco’s office in Manila pre-cleared import customs to ensure the fastest delivery once cargo arrived.

After thorough evaluation, there were limited options for shipping dangerous goods by air from Manila to Cebu – especially since domestic flights were cancelled during the onset of the COVID pandemic.

Ultimately, Dimerco arranged a charter flight with Philippine Airlines. The flight arrived in Cebu and was trucked to the factory in time to maintain production schedules.

As a result of the success of this challenging freight shipping project, Dimerco now handles more of the company’s dangerous goods cargo shipments from other APAC locations to Cebu, in addition to other general and project cargo.


Do You Need Dangerous Goods Air Freight Services?

Are you challenged with shipping dangerous goods by air? Whether it’s chemicals used in the semiconductor supply chain, lithium batteries or other hazmat products, rely on Dimerco’s experience in dangerous goods shipping to ship safe, compliant and on time. Reach out to start a discussion.


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