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Count on us for your Chemical & Petrochemical Shipments

Plastics, fertilisers, medical equipment, and detergents are just some of the products that rely on petrochemical shipments. However, shipping both chemicals and petrochemicals internationally can be a complex process due to the different safety, regulatory, and logistical considerations involved.

Different countries have different regulatory requirements for the import and export of chemicals. Equally many chemicals and petrochemicals are classified as hazardous materials. This means that some commodities cannot be imported into certain countries, while others can be imported only after an extensive amount of due diligence checks.

At MSC, we have decades of experience in the transportation of petrochemicals and other hazardous materials. This means we can provide customers with careful, precise, and robust processes that ensure any hazardous materials are shipped safely and in compliance with relevant regulations. Beyond this, our global team is also on hand to deal with any contingency wherever you are shipping around the globe.

  • Global coverage

  • Specially trained experts

  • Wide range of equipment and transport methods

  • End-to-end solutions

Experts in Petrochemical Shipping

One advantage of partnering with MSC for your chemical or petrochemical shipments is our specialist chemical support department. Our global team will work with you to safeguard your containerised chemical cargoes from pick up to delivery.

We are experts in the various HS codes used to classify chemical shipments and can provide guidance on how to treat your petrochemical cargo on an individual basis. Our proficiency means we ensure all dangerous and potentially hazardous cargo is stowed and shipped in compliance with the necessary legal and safety requirements.

Peace of Mind for Hazardous Goods Transportation

Beyond the specific chemical and petrochemical shipping regulations, transporting hazardous goods requires well planned processes to avoid delays to your overall supply chain.

No matter where you are in the world, for bulk chemical shipping, you can trust that MSC will always meet the highest national and international environmental and safety standards. We ship across hundreds of ocean routes, and with our added cargo cover solutions, we’re committed to simplifying the entire chemical shipping process for our clients.

Safeguarding your Petrochemical Cargo

Ensuring that your cargo is being handled carefully is crucial throughout the petrochemical shipping process. Because of all the different forms of petrochemicals, there are numerous shipping container options for each individual shipment. At MSC, we have a variety of container types available and will work with you to help you decide on the right size for your shipment.

Even better, our off-dock container depots and repair facilities ensure container quality and availability. Designed to help you reduce unnecessary costs and protect your chemical cargo during transportation.

Because you Need more than Port-to-Port Shipping

Chemical or petrochemical shipments require careful handling and precision. Our range of equipment, combined with our expertise and experience in all labelling and documentation requirements ensures we can provide the best support for our customers. 

You will also have access to MSC’s dedicated customer support team who are on hand to assist at loading points, connectivity at transshipment hubs, and to ensure timely discharge and delivery. All these services are in place to help you mitigate any challenges or concerns that come with shipping chemicals internationally. Contact us today to explore how MSC’s chemical shipping solutions could be beneficial for your business.

  • Strong intermodal offering (road, rail, barge)

  • Warehousing and Storage

  • Customs clearance support

  • Digital solutions

Chemical and Petrochemical Shipment FAQs

Read our expert’s answers to commonly asked questions relating to shipping hazardous materials like chemicals and petrochemicals.

Which are some Common Chemical and Petrochemical Shipping Challenges 

Shipping hazardous materials like petrochemicals also requires strict adherence to international regulations such as the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNRTDG). Your shipping partner should be well acquainted with all the different rules and regulations relating to your petrochemical shipment and can help you navigate them successfully.

Various safety precautions must also be followed when shipping chemicals to ensure the safety of both the shipment and the individuals involved in transportation. As part of this, all chemicals and petrochemical shipments must be packaged properly and appropriately labelled to ensure a smooth transit and customs clearance process.

What are the Environmental Considerations in Chemical and Petrochemical Shipping?

Due to their hazardous nature, chemical and petrochemical shipping may come with several environmental considerations. These include:

  • Potential chemical spills or leaks causing water contamination
  • Chemical stability
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Local regulations depending on the country of import and export

At MSC, our state-of-the-art-container-fleet, combined with industry experience means we are well placed to help you manage any environmental considerations throughout your chemical transportation process.

How to Ship Petrochemicals and Plastics Internationally?

Because of the variety of forms petrochemicals come in (pellets, beads, flakes, sheets, or emulsions), petrochemicals can be shipped internationally using different container types. The most shipped petrochemicals by MSC are Polymers of Ethylene (pellets), Polymers of Propylene (pellets or flakes), and Poly Acetals (various forms), all of which are the primary forms of plastics used in everyday life.

Petrochemical shipping at MSC is not just limited to primary products. Once the various manufacturing and wholesale companies have created the petrochemical products, they can then be processed into plastic commodities such as fibres, plastic tubes, pipes, hoses, plastic sheets, and plastic packaging. Once this manufacturing process is complete, we are then able to step in again and facilitate the international export of the finished plastic products. Equally, for businesses looking to ship scrap or waste plastic products internationally, we have the services to help make this process as seamless as possible.

How do you Handle Hazardous Chemicals and Petrochemicals during Shipping?

The first step is to determine whether your cargo is classified as a hazardous good, and if so, what class it falls under. This determines which procedures, labelling, and packaging are required. It also impacts whether your cargo can be shipped via air or ground.

Working with a transportation partner like MSC who has experience in shipping chemicals can help you ensure you have all the correct packaging and paperwork needed to ship your chemical cargo quickly and easily.

What are the Safety Regulations and Precautions for Shipping Chemicals and Petrochemicals?

There are numerous safety regulations and standards that must be followed throughout all non-bulk and bulk chemical shipping. These can vary depending on the type of the cargo being shipped, but some regulations that you should be aware of include:

The Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations controls

This covers the description of hazardous materials by class. It also covers the number of hazardous materials permitted in each package, the labelling and packaging of hazardous materials, and the additional documentation required for import and export.

IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) Code

This code is designed to regulate the safe shipping of hazardous goods by sea for international shipping. It is also used to ensure that the individuals involved in handling chemical shipments and the marine environment are protected.

What Types of Chemicals and Petrochemicals can be Shipped? 

A wide range of chemicals and petrochemicals can be shipped, including:


  • 3905 –PVA
  • 3906 – Acrylic Polymers
  • 3911 – Petroleum Resins
  • 3913 – Natural Polymers

Petrochemicals shared with plastics:

  • 3901 –Polymers of ethylene
  • 3902 – Polymers of Propylene
  • 3903 – Polymers of styrene
  • 3904 – PVC
  • 3907 – Polyacetals
  • 3908 – Polyamides
  • 3909 – Amino Resins
  • 3910 – Silicones
  • 3912 – Cellulose
  • 3916 – Monofilaments of Plastic
  • 3921 – Plates, sheets, clingfilm or plastic strips