Freight handling

General remarks

  • any freight must be stowed seaworthily (shockproof, closed, stackable, waterproof)
  • we generally expect that any freight is frost proof
  • frost susceptible freight must be bundled and delivered separately and must be marked respectively
  • in case that you deliver more than 10 boxes see to it that they are palletized
  • if you have packages which cannot be born make sure that they can be transported by forklifts
  • in order to avoid confusion remove all old marks, labels, stickers etc. from your packages
  • for identification purposes all packages must be furnished with special marks on all sides as well as above (see documents below)
  • all packages must be marked with a colour code on all sides as well as above (e.g. with coloured tape). If your university, institution or section has no colour code yet, please turn to the freight department

AWI has made good experience with aluminium boxes. Safe packing and thus safe transport of expedition equipment is crucial for success or failure of a project. Secure your boxes with simple and cheap padlocks or stable cable ties, thus creating a minimum of safety against unauthorized access. In case of opening by authorities such as customs the loss of a cheap securing device is not that severe.

Processing times and deadlines

The following minimum processing times are needed by the colleagues of AWI freight department in order to guarantee a handling of your transport in accordance with regulatory framework, so please adhere to the mentioned processing times when contacting us with your demands:

·         road transports:              7 working days

·         air transports.                  7 working days, 12 working days if dangerous goods are included

·         sea transports:                15 working days

·         expeditions:                     according to the respective deadlines


In case of non-compliance with those deadlines, timely transport cannot be guaranteed.

General process

This process refers to:

  • expedition freight
  • non-expedition freight
  • pick-up from the AWI warehouse

1.       The colleagues of the transport department can be contaected under

1.1   the following documents are needed:

1.1.1          freight list

1.1.2          packing list

1.1.3          BANF („Bestellanforderung“ – only for AWI internal use)

1.1.4          transport information sheet

1.1.5          dangerous goods list, if applicable

1.1.6          IMO declaration, if applicable

1.2   clarify customs questions:

1.2.1          free port/warehouse

1.2.2          customs proceedings

1.2.3          dual use/export control

1.3   Fill in the respective documents. In case of questions our colleagues are glad to help you under

2.       Thereafter send the following information to

2.1   all documents needed (see 1.1 & 1.2)

2.2   information on what exactly is planned with the freight (transport information sheet)

3.       Then you receive the following information:

3.1   checked freight list with bar code in case of delivery to the warehouse, or removal order in case of pick-up from the warehouse

3.2   Dates for delivery resp. pick-up / dates of availability

3.3   further important information concerning customs, dangerous goods etc., if applicable

4.       Now, two different procedures are possible (warehouse or forwarding company):

4.1   Warehouse:

4.1.1          Delivery to AWI warehouse:    put signed packing list into the package    fix expedition label on the outside    take status paper with you    take freight list with bar code with you    delivery    receive delivery confirmation after delivery 

4.1.2          Pick-up from warehouse:    take removal order with you    take customs documents with you    pick-up    receive pick-up confirmation after pick-up

4.2   Transport by forwarding company:

4.2.1          provide your freight ready for dispatch and complete (deadline is given by freight department)

4.2.2          fix transport label


4.2.3          fix dangerous goods mark in case of need

Environment protection

According to the recommendations of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative meeting, the use of pesticides, PCB’s, synthetic packing material, PVC, radio active material, batteries of any kind, waste with high heavy metal concentration, containers of fuel, lubricants and chemicals in Antarctica is either forbidden, to be avoided, or the waste introduced into Antarctica has to be completely removed. Same is true for expeditions into the Arctic. Therefore strictly adhere to environmental protection rules for polar regions regarding packaging. 


Transport information sheet:

Label for outer packing:

Freight list (excel):

Packing list (excel):

Dangerous goods list (excel):

IMO-Declaration (pdf):

Dangerous goods

Webpage "dangerous goods" is currently only in German.


Handling of animal by-products

To implement EU regulations and customs requirements regarding health rules for animal by-products, AWI must observe diverse standards when importing or dealing with animal sample material. This concerns border controls in the course of international expeditions (e.g. with Polarstern), other im- or export (e.g. sample dispatch), delivery of samples taken in national waters (e.g. expeditions with Heincke, other vessels) or the passing on of sample material in Germany resp. within the EU as well as further use and disposal at AWI’s sites.

With the responsible agencies, i.e. the veterinary offices in Bremen and Kiel and the customs authority in Bremerhaven, we agreed on a procedure for handling biological (animal) sample material. This procedure meets the official requirements, it is feasible in AWI’s scientific routine, and it does not involve much administrative effort.

Here you find a presentation detailing the procedures, and commercial documents for download. All forms as listed in the presentation are available for download (see documents), and consider using those in its latest version. Here you examples how to fill in the forms. 

Person in charge:

Friederike Dopatka
legal matters

Horst Bornemann
general matters & authorities

Nina Machner
research vessels

Silke Henkel
research stations

Stefanie Klüver/Guido Kunze
customs handling

Anna-Lena Bohlen
dangerous goods

Gisela Strelow


Polarstern expeditions

Please also read the information in the Polarstern-Wiki


Freight handling:

Anna-Lena Bohlen
other expeditions, maintenance and repair

Silke Henkel
polar aircraft, AWIPEV, Neumayer III, Carlini Station/ Dallmann Laboratory

Nina Machner
Polarstern incl. dangerous goods and Neumayer/Kohnen if transported on board Polarstern

Marcus Meierdierks
Transports Germany/EU, other vessels, courier-/express shipments

Dangerous goods:

Anna-Lena Bohlen
Nina Machner(Deputy)

Customs handling:

Stefanie Klüver
Guido Kunze
Jana Maria Schimpf

Radioactive material:
Magnus Lucassen