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Hazmat Fun: Pokémon Packing Groups

Posted on 7/14/2016 by Roger Marks

The new Pokémon Go app is taking the US by storm, outpacing major social media and dating sites for number of active users in just a few days. Pokémon come in all shapes and sizes, and each boasts its own unique powers. Most become more hazardous as they “evolve.”

Hazmat shippers may recognize a parallel to the way the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) divide hazard classes into Packing Groups (PG). In case you find yourself shipping one of these imaginary “pocket monsters” to a friend or client, this quick guide will help you decide just how strong a package you would (hypothetically) need. Because we're dealing with imaginary creatures here, we are disregarding any reguatlions that govern the shipment of live animals to focus solely on hazmat rules.  
For a straightforward look at  hazmat packing groups as they relate to packaging, see 49 CFR 178.503- Marking of Packagings.

All names and images of Pokémon herein are the property of the Pokémon Company and Nintendo.

Charmander Class 3 pokemon
Class 3, PG III – Charmander

This small, beloved fire Pokémon uses fire attacks with a limited range and effectiveness. Z-rated UN packaging will serve you just fine for Charmander. That said, the 49 CFR rules allow for PG III materials to be shipped in stronger rated packagings, too (X or Y).
[49 CFR 178.503(a)(3)(iii)]

Charmeleon Class 3 Pokemon

Class 3, PG II – Charmeleon

A bit more dangerous than the Charmander, this Packing Group II Pokémon can do some real damage—in battle and in transport. As a Class 3, Packing Group II, Charmeleon will need to be transported in a Y-rated or X-rated UN package. [49 CFR 178.503(a)(3)(ii)]

Charizard Class 3 PokemonClass 3, PG I – Charizard

The strongest Pokémon of its genus, Charizard is not to be taken lightly! X-rated UN packaging only for this flaming, flying, Packing Group I beast. [49 CFR 178.503(a)(3)(i)]

Whether you’re out hunting for Pokémon or you’re just waiting for the craze to end, it’s crucial to remember that –whatever hazmat you ship—the packaging you select must be strong enough to contain your material and keep it protected against the rigors of transport.

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