Are There Items that Cannot Be Shipped via Air Freight?

Are There Items that Cannot Be Shipped via Air Freight?

As freight shippers, we deal with a myriad of questions every day and after more than 50 years in the freight shipping business, there really isn’t a question that we haven’t been asked. One of the more common questions we are asked is, “are there items that absolutely cannot be shipped?” While we are able to ship almost anything, including certain hazardous materials, there are some items that are restricted from air freight shipping. The primary reason for this restriction is that they can become extremely hazardous in transit due to the changes in pressure that occur during flight. The following is a list of those restricted items.


  • Explosives of any kind including fireworks and detonating fuses.
  • Gases such as compressed gas, dry ice, fire extinguishers, gas lighters, and aerosol cans.
  • Flammables; both solids and liquids.
  • Toxic and infectious items such as pesticides
  • Biological products and waste such as medical waste, or dangerous pathogens.
  • Items that could be dangerous to public health.

It’s important to understand that there are times when it is necessary to transport certain hazardous items and they can be transported, just not via air-freight. Items like fireworks, compressed gas, gas lighters and aerosol cans all have to be transported. For example, retailers stock aerosol cans and gas lighters in addition to pesticides that are available for purchase. These items can be transported via ground and there are specifications to follow in order to transport them safely. We have a number of resources available to us, as freight forwarders, that keeps us current on any changes that we need to know regarding shipping of hazardous or flammable materials.

If you have a need to transport any type of flammable or hazardous material, contact us. We know how to handle this potentially dangerous task in order to maintain the safety of everyone involved.

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