Load securing: whose responsibility is it?
According to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry (GDV), poorly secured cargo in Germany causes damage of up to 300 million Euro annually. And this include neither the health consequences for road users, nor vehicle and environmental damage. 25 percent of all accidents involving heavy goods vehicles alone are due to the inadequate securing of loads.
If checked by the transport authorities, the absence or improper securing of a load can be punished with a fine and points in the register of the Federal Motor Transport Authority. If serious damage occurs, the carrier or owner of the commercial vehicle is liable to imprisonment.
Load securing, StVO and VDI
In a transportation vehicle or truck, every load must be secured in such a way that it cannot fall over, roll, slip or make noise during an evasive movement or emergency braking. In addition, according to the German Road Regulations (StVO), care must be taken to avoid overloading. The VDI Guidelines 2700 describe suitable measures for securing the various types of loads in the vehicle.
Responsibility for driver and shipper
Both during transportation and loading and unloading, the driver and the shipper make decisions on their own responsibility. Accordingly, they are responsible for the safe loading, further transportation and unloading at the destination. The shipper may be any person who is instructed by the consignor, carrier or consignee to carry out the loading.
Responsibility for participating companies
The transport company or alternatively the vehicle owner, consignor or carrier must ensure that both the driver and the consignor are aware of the load securing guidelines and implement them on their own responsibility. Both the vehicle owner and the company providing the loading personnel are obliged to ensure that the driver and the shipper are trained.
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