Road Transport Forum News

 
DG Documentation must be up to scratch

DG Documentation must be up to scratch

Road Transport Forum News

 July 2019    RTF News

TRANSPORT OPERATORS carrying dangerous goods may have recently noticed far more stringent checks on their documentation from Cook Strait ferry companies and the Police. Unfortunately, this is a result of increased poor practice from some operators within our industry....and it has to stop.

Ferry operators and those who represent them have both privately (to the Road Transport Forum) and publicly voiced their concern over a growing trend for some transport operators to carry undeclared or incorrectly-labelled dangerous goods onto ferries. Such concerns are taken extremely seriously.

While RTF knows that the majority of transporters work extremely hard to make sure that documentation is accurate, there have been operators who have submitted incorrect or incomplete documentation in order to take undisclosed dangerous goods on regular ferry sailings. Such goods are only supposed to be carried on the early morning freight runs that are designed to take higher-risk cargo.

The actions of those operators place ferry crews, passengers and drivers at serious risk.
Dangerous goods cargo is treated differently than normal freight and must be stowed in accordance with maritime requirements once aboard. This means ensuring that certain products are not stored next to each other and are carried on the appropriate deck.

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TRANSPORT OPERATORS carrying dangerous goods may have recently noticed far more stringent checks on their documentation from Cook Strait ferry companies and the Police. Unfortunately, this is a result of increased poor practice from some operators within our industry....and it has to stop.
Ferry operators and those who represent them have both privately (to the Road Transport Forum) and publicly voiced their concern over a growing trend for some transport operators to carry undeclared or incorrectly-labelled dangerous goods onto ferries. Such concerns are taken extremely seriously.
While RTF knows that the majority of transporters work extremely hard to make sure that documentation is accurate, there have been operators who have submitted incorrect or incomplete documentation in order to take undisclosed dangerous goods on regular ferry sailings. Such goods are only supposed to be carried on the early morning freight runs that are designed to take higher-risk cargo.
The actions of those operators place ferry crews, passengers and drivers at serious risk.
Dangerous goods cargo is treated differently than normal freight and must be stowed in accordance with maritime requirements once aboard. This means ensuring that certain products are not stored next to each other and are carried on the appropriate deck.
A ship's crew also needs to know the precise information about the dangerous goods they're carrying as this dictates the necessary response to any emergencies that may take place onboard. Fires on roll-on, roll-off ferries are not uncommon and globally there is a serious container ship fire every 60 days on average, so the threat is real.
Ferry operators in New Zealand already have a zero-tolerance approach, whereby any discrepancies found in documentation and cargo result in trucks being rejected from sailings. Ferry operators are also committed to reporting any dangerous goods issues to the regulatory agencies responsible, with the NZ Transport Agency acting as the gateway.
If you are transporting dangerous goods, make sure your documentation is 100% accurate. Make sure your dispatchers are trained in dangerous goods documentation and that they take their responsibilities seriously.
Operators who cut corners on this kind of compliance not only put their business at risk and negatively impact the public perception of the industry, but are also risking the lives of ferry passengers, crews and, of course, their own drivers.


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