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Responsibility for loading – how to avoid penalties?

Responsibility for loading and penalties have always been a hot topic in logistics. The problem is not only the additional costs, but also the potential delays and damage to goods. That’s why it’s so important to avoid errors right from the planning of loading.

Penalties for loading – not just a financial burden

In the event of an inspection, the most visible effect of a poorly loaded semi-trailer is, of course, financial penalties. Exceeding the weight limit or axle loads are factors that can bring big problems to a transport company. It should be noted, however, that the consequences of weight overruns are not limited to the financial aspect.

Poorly loaded semi-trailers can cause additional delays and damage to goods. Delays are often due to the need to correct loading errors, which affects the timeliness of deliveries. Damage to goods, on the other hand, is a direct result of improper load distribution in the vehicle. Let’s not forget that carrying too much weight can be dangerous in the transport process.

Who is to blame for poor loading?

Responsibility for activities related to the loading of goods is not clearly defined under the CMR Convention. The conditions for the obligation to load a semi-trailer depend on the provisions of the contract between the ordering party and the carrier. Despite this, there are regulations that assign liability to the carrier for damage or loss of goods during transport. However, the carrier may invalidate claims for compensation if the shipper tampered with the loading or unloading of goods, according to the CMR Convention. However, interpretations of these provisions vary, leading to a situation where sometimes fault can be attributed to the carrier and sometimes it remains with the ordering party. In 2016, according to Jecques Barotta, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, people who order transport services are responsible for 25% of all road accidents.

In the case of errors in loading, there are often attempts to find the culprits. However, instead of looking for individual culprits, all parties involved in the transportation process should work together to avoid any transgressions. Even if the shipper is responsible for loading, the carrier can verify it and report any errors to the ordering party and note them in the waybill. Responsibility should include not only the carrier, but also loading staff, route planners, and those responsible for preparing the load.
In practice, this means that each party should be aware of and comply with loading standards and regulations. The driver should have access to precise loading information, and workers at the warehouse should be properly trained and aware of the consequences of improper load placement.

Planning the process before loading will avoid a penalty

To avoid the consequences of an overloaded semi-trailer, it is a good idea to carefully plan the arrangement of goods on a given semi-trailer before loading. With Goodloading, you can virtually plan your load, checking whether everything is within the norm. The application allows you to take into account various parameters such as weight, dimensions or additional stacking options, thus avoiding potential problems already at the planning stage. The finished design can be sent to the warehouse or to the driver, allowing for quick and safe loading.

As a result, the transport company can minimize the risk of exceeding the standards, which translates into avoiding financial penalties, delays and damage to goods. Goodloading indicates possible violations, so the user can manually adjust the arrangement of goods, reduce the number of loads or choose a semi-trailer that will accommodate a given load.

Responsibility for the loading process is not limited only to avoiding financial penalties – the key element is also the care for timely delivery and the condition of goods. In this context, tools such as Goodloading provide support, enabling transport companies to effectively manage the loading process and minimize the risk of non-compliance or errors during loading.

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