Some consignments are more sensitive than others. Typically, the transportation of dangerous goods or cold chain items require stricter preparation and tracking.

Cold chain shipments

When transporting cold chain items, remember to:

  • Double check the cold chain capacity calculations: are you sure that the temperature can be maintained for the duration of the shipment?

    If not, make sure you include additional icepacks to the consignment, include them on the packing list and waybill, and provide the transporter with instructions as to when and how they must be used.
  • Include a temperature tracker in the consignment. You can usually arrange for shippers to fit a tracker in a container (at a cost).

    Where you are the shipper of goods, you can procure temperature trackers to include in boxes, and provide the receiver of the goods with means to read the trackers once goods are delivered.
  • Follow up on any cold chain rupture claims notified by the consignee and implement corrective actions.

Transporting dangerous goods

There are nine classes of dangerous goods. Find more information on dangerous goods here.

Transportation of dangerous goods is highly regulated and should ideally be handled by a third-party service provider. Freight forwarders usually have capacity to advise on dangerous goods shipments and may have to pick them up from your warehouse to arrange for special packaging prior to the shipment.


Drop-ships are cases where a supplier might deliver to the end user directly, upon specific request of the buyer. The buyer can be the consignee or a service provider acting on behalf of the consignee (a regional logistics hub, for example, in the context of the Red Cross Movement).

In drop-ships, the supplier will usually present at the delivery place with a waybill of their own format and/or an internal delivery note. In this case:

  • Sign the waybill only when all packaging units have been accounted for (pallets, boxes or loose cargo).
  • Sign the delivery note when all the items on the packing list have been delivered. The transporter should leave a copy of the signed delivery note with the person who signed it.
  • Raise a claims form where there is any discrepancy.
  • Raise a GRN to record entry into stock.
  • Move the goods to the bulk storage area or proceed to distribution if the goods have been delivered at the point of usage.
  • Update stock records if goods enter the warehouse.
  • Inform the sender (supplier or third party, such as RLU) that goods have been received. Send copies of waybill, delivery note and claims form.

If drop-shipped goods are distributed immediately, they do not need to be recorded in stock. A delivery note is enough to reconcile with the order or requisition.

Deliveries at point of usage

Where requested goods are delivered at the point of usage or distribution, a delivery note is preferable to a GRN, as the items are not to be managed by logistics. That way, the items do not become Red Cross stock, but the delivery is still documented. A copy of the delivery note must be kept in the procurement file before it is transmitted to finance for payment.

Read the next section on Safety, security and incident reports here.

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