Manufacturing Safety for Manitoba

Imported Goods & Packages: COVID-19 Shipment Handling Guidelines

Imported Goods & Packages: COVID-19 Shipment Handling Guidelines

Posted on March 28, 2020

As news of rising COVID-19 case counts in the United States dominate the news, including hot spots in key ports and transportation hubs, many manufacturers are questioning how to implement effective safety measures for goods shipped over borders.

To assist, Made Safe’s team of health and safety experts have created the following guidelines for the manufacturing work-environment. It is important to note that information on the novel Coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2) continues to evolve as scientists and experts around the world gather data and research. The information and recommendations below are based on a recently published study in the New England Journal of medicine, referenced by leading organizations such as Harvard Health. We will continue to update this page as information become available. In the meantime, for questions or insights, please connect with our team of manufacturing experts today at


Health and safety best practices for goods and packages

Based on a recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine conducted by the National Institute of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases the COVID-19 virus (SAR-CoV-2) is stable and infectious for the following time periods:

  • Aerosol (airborne solutions) – up to 3 hours
  • Copper – up to 4 hours
  • Cardboard – up to 24 hours
  • Plastic and Stainless Steel – up to 72 hours


Shipments that are outside of those windows are expected to be safe; however, use of safe disinfection practices should be continued on the packaging as well as the products. Shipments that arrive within the window of transmission should be disinfected using the procedures described in the CME Made Safe COVID-19 Guide to Using Disinfectants Correctly.


Procedures for maintaining social distancing with delivery drivers must be developed based on the needs of the company’s shipping document handling system. Providing the driver and receiver with nitrile gloves for the interaction with the paperwork should be considered.


Health Canada has not made a determination on how long the virus will last on surfaces but does agree that it is behaving similarly to other members of the Coronavirus family (SARS, MERS) which is consistent with the findings of the study referenced.


Looking for this information in tip sheet format? Download it here:

Citation  –  N van Doremalen, et al. Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1. The New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973 (2020).


For more information

Contact our team of health and safety experts for manufacturing-specific insights and supports:


NOTE: This information is intended as best practice guidance, not as medical or legal advice. Information about the Coronavirus changes rapidly. Always refer to a public health authority for medical advice, and consult legal counsel regarding legislative concerns

Success. Thank You!
One of the Required Fields was left blank
reCaptcha is Required.

Always receive the latest information by filling the form below.